BBC Symphony Orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since its inception in 1930, and as the flagship orchestra of the BBC provides the backbone of the BBC Proms with at least a dozen concerts each year, including the First and Last Nights. Strongly committed to twentieth-century and contemporary music, it has given the premiere of more than 1,000 works by composers such as Bartók, Britten, Hindemith, Holst, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and more recently has premiered BBC commissions by Simon Bainbridge, Jonathan Dove, Michael Nyman and Sir John Tavener among others. Its annual season of concerts as Associate Orchestra of the Barbican includes a weekend each January focusing upon a single composer from the twentieth or twenty-first century, most recently James MacMillan, Elliott Carter and Sofia Gubaidulina.

Jiří Bĕlohlávek took up the post of Chief Conductor in July 2006 and David Robertson was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in 2005. The BBC SO works frequently with Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis and Artist-in-Association John Adams. All concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and a number are televised, giving the BBC Symphony Orchestra the highest broadcast profile of any orchestra in the UK. The BBC SO is committed to innovative education work, with ongoing projects including the BBC SO Family Orchestra and Music Intro, introducing families to concert-going.

The BBC SO has appeared on 34 of NMC’s CDs, including the best-selling recording of Elgar’s Third Symphony.

Davis, Sir Andrew

Sir Andrew
Born in 1944 in Hertfordshire, England, Andrew Davis studied at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar before taking up the baton. His diverse repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary, and his vast conducting credits span the symphonic and operatic and choral worlds. Sir Andrew is a great proponent of twentieth-century works including those by Janáček, Messiaen, Boulez, Elgar, Tippett, and Britten, in addition to the core symphonic and operatic composers.
With the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Davis has led concerts at the London Proms and on tour to Hong Kong, Japan, the US, and Europe. He has conducted all of the major orchestras of the world from the Chicago Symphony to the Berlin Philarmonic to the Royal Concertgebouw, and at opera houses and festivals throughout the world including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and the Bayreuth Festival.
Since 2000, Sir Andrew Davis has served as Music Director & Principal Conductor of Lyric Opera of Chicago. He is the Conductor Laureate of the Toronto Symphony (having previously served as the Principal Conductor), the Conductor Laureate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (having served as the 2nd longest running Chief Conductor since its founder, Sir Adrian Boult) and the former Music Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Image Credit: 
Dan Rest
  • Total duration: 56'10
  • CD | PRICE £12.99

  • MP3 | 320K 44.1 KHz
    96.8 MB
     | PRICE £7.99

  • FLAC 16 | 16bit 44.1 KHz
    208.50 MB
     | PRICE £8.99


Elgar died in 1934 leaving behind the sketches for a 4-movement symphony; the Elgar family's decision to commission Anthony Payne to realise the sketches has produced an astonishing work of truly Elgarian nobility.


Classic CD Award Winner 1998
Gramophone Award nomination 1998
BBC Music Magazine Critics' Choice 1998
The Independent Classical CDs of the Year 1998
The Times Classical CDs of the Year 1998

'Payne has caught the composer's instantly recognisable orchestral palette to perfection' BBC Music Magazine

'Payne's work is excellent. He has captured the essence and spirit of Elgar extremely well: you recognize all the Elgarian harmonies, density of textures, dynamics, rhythmic patterns, turns of phrase, and orchestrations' Fanfare Magazine


Produced in association with BBC Radio 3


Recording date: 15-17 October 1997

Recording venue: Studio 1, BBC Maida Vale, London

Engineers: Tryggvi Tryggvason, Andrew Hallifax, Jamie Dunn
Producer: Colin Matthews 
Editing & mastering: Marian Freeman

Cover image: Photo: Elgar by Lambert, 1933 (C) National Portrait Gallery

(P) 1997 NMC Recordings Ltd

Boosey & Hawkes
Catalogue number:
NMC D053
Release Date:
2 February 1998