This performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius had a great deal to recommend it. However, rather to my surprise, Mark Elder exhibited something of a tendency, especially later on, to sacrifice drama to beauty. Memories of Britten’s incendiary LSO recording continued to linger. The Prelude, like so much else of this account, clearly took after Parsifal. After a slightly bland opening, it blossomed richly, not least thanks to an excellent LPO viola section. (Violas, always at the very heart of the harmony, are far more crucial to the success of a performance than many realise, not least when it comes to Wagnerian and post-Wagnerian repertoire.) Splendidly implacable brass also gave a foretaste of travails to come.