Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra|
Sir Edward Elgar: Symphony No. 1 - Sir Colin Davis / London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis and the LSO recorded Elgar's symphonies live at a series of acclaimed concerts at the Barbican during Autumn 2001. The LSO has a long and illustrious association with Elgar and his music. He conducted the L... more »
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Sir Colin Davis and the LSO recorded Elgar's symphonies live at a series of acclaimed concerts at the Barbican during Autumn 2001. The LSO has a long and illustrious association with Elgar and his music. He conducted the LSO in 1904, the year it was founded, and was later to become its Principal Conductor. Over recent years Sir Colin Davis, the current Principal Conductor, has established an unrivalled reputation in Elgar's music.
Restraint is the keyword to this immacualate interpretation
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 02/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Being a Brit, Colin Davis is an old hand at Elgar and has recorded his music earlier in the 20th century. This discount recording, constructed from a pair of concert performances at London's newly-remodeled Barbican in autumn 2001, presents Davis's mature statement on what has often been called the first great British symphony.
This composition was a monumental hit when it appeared and was given more than 100 performances in 1908, its first year. The reason it caught on so readily is easy to understand when you listen to the opening bars of the initial "nobilmente e semplice" section of the first movement. One of Elgar's signature markings, this presents the noble motto theme that reoccurs throughout the first movement and returns during the closing pages of the final movement allegro.
Davis pursues the symphony with more than a few ounces of British reserve, never allowing the music (which can become vulgar) to go over the top. Heck, Davis hardly even gets to the top rung of the ladder! I believe this restraint is what makes his recording work so well. When you compare his Elgar to the composer's faster and more emotional reading, Davis brings forth all the adventurous feelings of Elgar's composition without slipping over into abject sentimentality or over the top emotions. His restraint is commendable and results in a reading that drove the crowd wild at its conclusion.
The recording is typical of the Barbican -- good but dry with detail and definition you expect in a 21st century DDD issue. Exemplary notes on the composer, the symphony, and the relationship between the composer and London Symphony Orchestra round out an exceptional issue. With less than 55 minutes of music on this CD, LSO Live could have added any old Elgar march, overture or elegy to this recording and made it a better buy. Still, it's a good buy for a $14 list price. Don't pass on it if you're looking for a modern Elgar Symphony No. 1."
John S. Buxton | Boston, MA | 04/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording has served as my introduction to this wonderful piece of music, considered by some to be the finest symphony composed in the 20th Century. The opening "nobilmente" theme is absolutely haunting, memorable and sentimental. Colin Davis and the LSO give a loving performance, full of the right amount of feeling and texture. The clarity of the recording is outstanding, particularly considering the live performance. I highly recommend this disc, and I can hardly wait for the Davis/LSO recording of Elgar no. 2 later this year."
A great performance, work and price!
C Drummond | England | 10/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a distinguished reading this really is! Davis takes a slowish tempo throughout the work, and this brings out the majesty of this wonderful symphony. The "nobilmente" theme comes across divinely, with the more sinister themes carrying real weight and menace. There are also moments of true beauty, not only in the lovely slow movement, but also in the finale. As Elgar winds up the emotional tension towards the big climax, Davis really has the listener in the palm of his hand, and I find myself moved intensely as the pizzicato strings usher in the return of the original theme. One very important note to make about this CD is that the sound quality is simply amazing, better than any other of my 100+ CDs. It is astonishingly lifelike in its presence. With advocacy of this standard, I am amazed that this great symphony is less famous than the Enigma variations and his (not entirely successful) cello concerto. This, in my opinion, is Elgar's masterpiece and it should dispel the unfair impression that this composer was some kind of English "hack". I cannot recommend this music, or this performance highly enough, and at such an absurdly low price there should be no reason for doubt. Bravos all round, especially for this wonderful new record-label LSO live; distinguished recordings of important works, by master conductors, at bargain price."