It's a great shame that Elgar is still considered by many to be a minor composer who composed Cello Concerto and Enigma Variations. It was acctually German speaking people who discovered Elgar's genious first through 'Serenade for Strings' (which was completely ignored by his own countrymen) and the oratorio 'Dream of Gerontius,' performed in Düsseldorf. R.Strauss heralded Elgar as a great composer after hearing Enigma Variations and his other orchestral works. The two monumental symphonies, deeply moving oratorios and choral works, and orchestral miniatures, which are small in length yet superbly written, display his rare ability to receive musical inspiration directly from the other world and give voice to it in this world.
This disc is a good introduction to Elgar's hidden gems of orchestrations that breathe such inspiration - deeply nostalgic 'Nursery Suite,' rarely performed lyrical masterpiece 'Severn Suite,' amazingly evocative 'Crown of India Suite,' and one of the most sublime and atmospheric works by Elgar, 'Meditation' from the oratorio The Light of Life, and more. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra plays each piece with heart warming intimacy, much poetic imagination and Elgarian longing. Especially 'Meditation' is so miraculously, beautifully played, in much slower tempo than Adrian Boult's rather hasty version ( and Groves' own version from the complete recording of the oratorio ), that this track only can make this disc well worth buying. Recorded in 1970/1971 in warm and spacious stereo.