The kids are alright!
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 06/19/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I've owned a large number of Strauss's "Domestic Symphony" -- including the versions most people recommend including Karajan, Furtwangler, Maazel and others -- and a fair number of Elgar "Enigma Variations". My main complaint with recordings of both pieces of music is the diskmates are rarely very substantial.
The most recent version of the Elgar I owned, by Gardiner, had some other less meaningful Elgar on the disk. The last Strauss I owned, by Philadelphia Orchestra and Sawallich, was mated to some other Strauss pieces. Not that they were bad but who needs another "Til Eulenspiegel"?
This version has each piece mated to a substantial work by a composer of the same period. The performances, by Chris Seaman and Britain's national youth symphony, have a lot of youthful ardor and are recorded exceptionally well. In particular, the brass and timpani come through in spades on this recordings.
The players show a lot of ability and, as you might expect, less finesse and mature understanding of the music than the professional orchestras and giants of the podium mentioned earlier. Aside from a few slips of ensemble, this amateur group acquits itself well in a very well-recorded disk.
This, then, is a good match if you seek this pairing which, to my knowledge, is unavailable elsewhere. I liked this the first time I heard it. We'll see if it has the kind of lasting value its significant competition proposes."