We knew we could produce a first class sound, because we thought we had the best engineers and producers in the business (Faulkner/Cornall), but on the other hand we also knew that the Philharmonia played exceptionally well under Downes and would be hard to match. In end what decided us to go ahead was George Lloyd's belief that his 'definitive' version would be sufficiently different to make it worth the financial risk. He summarised the different approaches by saying that Downes' rhythm and tempo was 'four square' whereas his own was more varied, more flexible and with more rubato.
Which version is preferred must remain a matter of taste - Downes' greater experience as a conductor, and his instinctive understanding of orchestra and audience must weigh heavily against George's (relative) inexperience, though the latter's familiarity with his own score would have allowed him to realise the expressive possibilities more intensely than Downes. I hear the difference as a spectrum between drama and lyricism, but that is of course an over-simplification.
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