I’ve also been scouring YouTube for what I consider to be the ‘perfect’ version of Elgar’s Nimrod from the Enigma Variations, and that search has been successful. It’s the version recorded by Sir Adrian Boult a long time ago, and is posted below. The speed is just right, every musical nuance is clearly stated, every crescendo is perfectly timed and given perfect weight. It seems that Sir Adrian had the perfect understanding of the Grand Emotion. This is just my opinion of course, but I’m sticking to it. None of the others I heard came close.
And I was interested to read what the uploader says in his introduction, which is that he can no longer reply to comments because he refuses to join Google+. ‘Hear, hear,’ I say. Isn’t it ironic that I can’t say ‘hear, hear’ in the comments because I, too, refuse to join Google+?