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Selling classical music is becoming increasingly reliant on marketing.

Performance skills are a given.

But image and a charismatic and attractive interview persona are, more than ever it seems, essential ingredients in making your disc stand out from the crowd.

Looking at the bufferish features of Sir Adrian Boult, featured on the cover of the new 13-cd box set ‘Vaughan Williams: The Complete EMI Recordings’ (EMI), you realise how times have changed.

Most of the featured recordings were made by Boult, one of the British conducting giants of the 20th century and a noted Vaughan Williams champion, between 1967 and 1975.

For around £30, you get all the symphonies plus VW works that are far less familiar like The Pilgrim’s Progress, Job and In the Fen Country.

EMI’s German website seems to be alone in having an audio clip feature with examples from all 13 CDs.

With freezing Winter weather set to continue in the UK through the Easter weekend, the extracts from VW’s ‘Sinfonia Antarctica’ look to me to be the perfect accompaniment.

Vaughan Williams: Complete EMI Recordings – official website

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