5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2008
Elgar had a strong connection with this orchestra, and it shows. So also does Sir Colin Davis's affinity for Elgar and his ability to obtain the best from his musicians.
The Enigma Variations are carefully shaped yet spontaneous, crafted without self-consciousness. I expected variation 4 (track 5) to be a little faster, but Sir Colin's tempo is totally valid.
I auditioned the SACD hybrid version, and found it admirably well balanced and clear. The bass drum is satisfyingly deep and made my subwoofer worthwhile. Audience noise is negligible, and possibly for that reason there isn't the ambience of a concert hall - indeed if I hadn't known better, I would have guessed that it was a somewhat dry studio recording.
I found that only the final variation failed to open out completely aurally, and as a matter of taste I have come to appreciate a little more organ underpinning, but this is a matter of my taste and not a reason for overlooking this excellent Enigma.
The Introduction and Allegro for strings shares the same virtues as the Enigma, and is a worthwhile 'filler'. Even with this piece the running time is a bit short and I would happily have enjoyed more. Incidentally my impression was that the Introduction and Allegro sounded like the Enigma minus the wind and brass; some recordings increase the overall level but this one seems to employ more 'fidelity'. Again, a matter of personal taste which in any case does not detract from the overall excellence of the music-making and sound quality.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2012
Lovely recording of beautiful music. I have always loved the Enigma Variations, in particular Nimrod, and this recording does not disappoint