Adrian Boult's classic 1956 Pye recordings of Beethoven's middle symphonies have been in and out of the American classical catalogs since they were first issued here in the late '50s on Vanguard LPs. On that release and most subsequent re-releases, including this one, Boult's orchestra is identified as the Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra of London, the recording alias of the London Philharmonic, Boult's standard orchestra at the time. Fifty years should have rendered that pseudonym superfluous but no matter: on this release as on all the earlier releases, Boult and whatever his orchestra turn in a hair-raising Third and Fifth along with a pulse-pounding Coriolan and a heart-stopping Leonore No. 3, performances of such strength and vision that they re-affirm the music's power and composer's glory. For listeners who associate Boult's name only with the gentler fields of English music, the violent aggression of these performances will be stunning all by itself. No stolid British conductor, Boult drives his orchestra unrelentingly, forcing it above and beyond to perform deeds of musical greatness. Although there have been other fine Beethoven recordings over the past 50 years by other first-rate English conductors -- Beecham, Barbirolli, Davis, and Marriner come immediately to mind -- Boult's Beethoven remains preeminent among British recordings. Vanguard's remastered reissue is incredibly vivid and unbelievably immediate.