Elgar: Symphonies 1 & 2, Enigma Variations, Sea Pictures, etc.

Elgar: Symphonies 1 & 2, Enigma Variations, Sea Pictures, etc.

by London Philharmonic OrchestraLondon Philharmonic Orchestra


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Two things bind the recordings on this five disc set together: all the music was composed by Edward Elgar and performed by the London Philharmonic. The works included range from the well-known Symphonies, Concertos, Overtures and Variations through the lesser known Imperial March, Coronation March and The Sanguine Fan ballet. The conductors range from the renowned Boult to the savage Solti to masterful Mackerras to impetuous Handley to the composer himself. The soloists range from violinist Alfredo Campoli to cellist Paul Tortelier to alto Janet Baker. And the performances range from the splendid to the magnificent to the inspired. Solti's 1972 Symphony No. 1 is urgent and ecstatic. Mackerras' 1985 is witty and affectionate. Handley's 1980 Symphony No. 2 is righteous and nostalgic. Campoli's 1954 Violin Concerto is passionate and lyrical. Tortelier's 1972 Cello Concerto is sorrowful and purposeful. Baker's 1984 Sea Pictures is lush and affecting. Boult's 1956 Falstaff, 1973 Sanguine Fan and 1972 Introduction and Allegro for Strings are deeply affectionate and profoundly moving. Elgar's own recordings of the Serenade and especially of his Elegy from 1933 are touched with the brush of genius. And in every performance from 1933 through 1985, the LPO plays as if they love the music like they love their families and their country, and their performances are consistently superlative. Most of the recordings have been issued before, but a handful -- Baker's Sea Pictures and Mackerras' Imperial March -- have rarely if ever been available before. Naturally, the sound is variable -- the quality of a 1933 acoustic recording differs vastly from a 1972 stereo recording -- but it's consistently as good as the best sound of its time. Anyone who loves Elgar is going to have to hear these discs.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/24/2007
Label: London Philharmonic
UPC: 0854990001161
catalogNumber: 16
Rank: 189257


  1. Symphony No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 55
  2. Enigma Variations, for orchestra, Op. 36
  3. Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85
  4. Pieces (2) ("Chanson de matin" & "Chanson de nuit"), for violin & piano (later orchestrated), Op. 15
  5. Elegy, for string orchestra, Op. 58
  6. Cockaigne Overture ("In London Town"), concert overture for orchestra & organ, Op. 40
  7. Froissart, concert overture for orchestra, Op. 19
  8. Characteristic Pieces (3), for orchestra, Op. 10: Contrasts: The Gavotte AD 1700 and 1900, Op. 10 No
  9. Imperial March, for orchestra, Op. 32
  10. In the South ("Alassio"), concert overture for orchestra, Op. 50
  11. Serenade, for strings in E minor, Op. 20
  12. Coronation March, for orchestra, Op. 65
  13. Introduction and Allegro, for string quartet & string orchestra in G major, Op. 47
  14. The Sanguine Fan, ballet, Op. 81
  15. Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 61
  16. Falstaff, symphonic study for orchestra in C minor, Op. 68
  17. Symphony No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 63
  18. Sea Pictures, song cycle for alto, organ & orchestra, Op. 37

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