on 5 March 2009
Caractacus is one of the very best of Elgar's pre-Enigma works (perhaps the nearest Elgar ever got to writing an opera) and it was in fact composed just before the Enigma Variations. In this set the two works are coupled together. In Caractacus Groves is at his best and gives a superb performance, rather better I think than the rival recording from Hickox on Chandos. In Enigma however he disappoints and the performance just fails to take off.