I loved this recording on cd and its even better on sacd.
The history of this performance is well documented both on other sites and on amazon customer reviews., so I wont repeat it.
What i will add is that the original version seems to capture so much more of the fabianism that inspired HG Wells and in turn, Vaughan Williams. Its dissonances and darknesses capture Edwardian London with affection but without sentimentality: this is the London of Dickensian poverty as much as of metropolitan splendour. Not a second of the "extra" fourteen minutes is superfluous, - indeed, i wanted the disc to go on, - and the last performance of any edition of the London which made me want that was the glorious Barbirolli recording (on Pye/Nixa) from the late 50's.
And what a performance this is, - blazing with committment and conviction but also with subtlety and insight. Its the best thing i've ever heard from Hickox and made me think of his potential as well as his achievement. The LSO is on top form, and their love of this most London of symphonies is totally apparent.
The original 24 bit PCM recording was great and the DSD remastering adds to it without detracting from its warmth and resonance. Somehow, even the softer sheen on the strings which i detect in the SACD layer seems apposite, especially in the second and final movements, suggesting the tones of a Whilstler nocturne, the moon over the Thames, as well as the haze of the day and the feel of the night. Its like good Thai silk, somewhere between satin and suede.
Everything is caught with absolute naturelness, - brief horn and cello "solos" seem to epitomise both instruments without ever artificially spotlighting them. The stereo sounstage is wide but natural, accurante without being over-analytical and suggests that DSD remastering of good 24bit pcm originals can produce a better result than even all-dsd recordings.
Whether you have a copy of the final version or not, you shouldn't be without this disc, a triumph for the young Vaughan Williams, for Hickox and the LSO and for the Chandos engineers. Bravo!!!!!