Don't look for Elgar here... but try a bit of Parry & Bridge
zaphod_4964 | Mexico | 06/07/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This CD can be divided in two parts: one that is poor, and other which is not so poor and can even be of considerable interest (mostly if you are going through a particularly "anglophilous" period of your life). In such way, my advice to other customers can be as well divided in 2 points:1.If this record caught your eye because you're looking for Elgar's "Introduction and allegro" then forget about it, since the version here included is rather poor and dissapointing. If Elgar's pieces are your main interest, then look for Sir John Barbirolli's magnificent account with the Sinfonia of London and the (then) New Philharmonia now available in EMI's Great recordings of the Century at a very reasonable price. 2.The suites we get here from Sir Hubert Parry (An English Suite & Lady Radnor's Suite) are decently reproduced by Leaper and the Capella Istropolitana (though one may ask a bit more of strength at some points). Considering that one doesn't gets this music all the time, you certainly won't be waisting your money investigating in this record for the work of one of the most important precursors of the Brithish musical renaissance. Besides, we get a very pleasant view into the work of Britten's mentor, Frank Bridge, with "Lament", a piece from which Leaper draws some nice atmospheric playing.The recording quality is good, excepting for some lack of balance in Elgar's Introduction & Allegro, a piece that is always a bit difficult to record as it comprisses two different ensembles interacting in a musical dialogue sort of reminiscent of the concerto grosso that cannot be recorded in the same manner as with the Parry pieces where you just have a traditionally assembled string orchestra.Oh... yes, the Downland piece is quite enjoyable, but lasting only a minute and a half one feels that it's place belongs to other CD, as it is the only XVIth century piece between a record of late XIXth-early XXth century music."