Royal Albert Hall Highlights vol.1

Brian Bowen

Active Member
I was suspicious of the ISB's 1968 performance of The Present Age (Condon) on the recent CD/download from WoB. It's a long while since I heard the original LP of this concert but the ending on the Highlights version seem faster (considerably) than I remembered. In his review of the new CD, Dudley Bright has given the explanation. The performance on the original LP was taken from the evening concert: the new CD performance is the one recorded in the identical afternoon concert on the same day and not previously released. It must therefore be the premiere performance of this work. The notes printed with the new CD make no mention of this fact. My suspicions were also aroused because I thought my playing of the more extended flugel horn solo in this piece was better on the LP.:(

While the playing of the ISB is well represented, I'm not convinced the music has been best served by this switch.

I'm led to believe there may be a similar question concerning the performace of the Fantasia for Piano and Band, performed by the composer (Ray Steadman-Allen) with the ISB in 1965, also on RAH Highlights, vol. 1.

This maybe of interest to just a few (e.g., John Brooks?).


New Member
After listening to this CD for years, I was also convinced it wasn't the same performance that was on the record. SO, I came to this site today to finally inquire about it, and immediately found your post. The funny thing is that it was mainly your flugelhorn solo that convinced me it was a different performance. I agree that the LP recording is better. I noticed the tempo and a few other problems as well. Eight years late, but now I know!

John Brooks

Well-Known Member
Was this 8 years ago? My how time fly's! I'm sure I responded to this discussion, but possible not on TMP. A while ago I acquired an excellent digital copy of the LP to replace my own copy made on "lesser" equipment. The explanation is that the LP featured the evening performance and the CD used the afternoon performance, the same concert having been presented twice. Never too late jv16.