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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elgar's Box of Glorious Works, 11 Jun. 2007
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This review is from: Elgar: Orchestral Works (Audio CD)
This 5 CD collection from EMI Classics was released in 2006 to coincide nicely with the 150th anniversary (in 2007) of Elgar's birth in 1857. Included in the set are all the major orchestral works written by Elgar, recorded on various dates between 1962 and 1966.

The performances are notable for both the conductor and artists. There is probably no better or appropriate interpreter of Elgar's work than Sir John Barbirolli, who played for the London Symphony Orchestra for the first performance (in 1919) of the cello concerto under the direction of Elgar himself - later the same year incidently Barbirolli was himself the soloist. Barbirolli's subsequent association with Elgar led to an increasing confidence culminating in the successful direction of the second symphony at a London concert in 1927 that was to launch his conducting career. He effectively became Elgar's understudy when he deputised for him at a 1934 concert when Elgar's ill-health prevented him taking charge. Elgar's approval of him is endorsed by his comment that Barbirolli is one `in whose work I have confidence'.

Barbirolli was probably the foremost champion of Elgar's work during the 1940's to 1960's when he conducted and recorded many of the composer's orchestral pieces. The recordings in this set are from the late period in Barbirolli's life (he died in 1970) during which he was at his most experienced and accomplished, for by this time he had been involved with Elgar's work for more than 65 years.

Equally of note in this collection is the beautiful performance by Dame Janet Baker of `Sea Pictures', and the enthusiastic playing by the 20 year old Jacqueline du Pre (who else?) of the `cello concerto'.

Other works included are the two complete 'Symphonies' (1 and 2), `Introduction and allegro', `Elergy', `Sospiri', `Falstaff', `Cockaigne' and `Froissart'. My favourites however are the excellent performances by the Philharmonia Orchestra of the `Enigma variations' and the five `Pomp and Circumstance Marches'.

Included in the box is a 16 page booklet (10 in English) with full performance dates, venues, artists & soloists, plus some background information on the late Sir John Barbirolli.

Don't settle for the edited highlights like `Nimrod', `March No.1' and a bit of the `Cello Concerto' found on the many `Best of Elgar' CDs, get this collection.

This set is a perfect companion to the other EMI Classics collection, `Elgar - Choral Works', and together they provide a very comprehensive representation of Elgar's music.

Just like its choral counterpart, this is an essential item for the Elgar fan.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Mar 2010 09:29:45 BDT
Elgar - Orchestral Works [Box set]
Are these works digitally remastered?
There is no mention of this on the page.

Arthur HC Williams

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2010 20:20:06 BDT
Mart says:
Hello Arthur, thanks for your question,

Yes, the enclosed sleeve notes confirm that all these recordings have been remastered by EMI, detailing the dates for each - ranging between 1988 and 2004. I should add too that all these recordings are of an outstanding sound quality.

Hope this info helps, Mart
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Mart
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Location: London, UK

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