3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Delius; Elgar-Violin Concertos (Audio CD)I own over 30 versions of the Elgar concerto, and this is the one I always come back to. Sammons had played the concerto on a number of occasions with the composer conducting - indeed he was its leading exponent after Kreisler. It is very sad that he and Elgar were contracted to different record companies. But this is as near definitive as any version can get. Sammons's playing is electric, and he is very well supported by Wood.
Comparisons with the Elgar/Menuhin version from three years later must be coloured by the fact that Menuhin had never played the work before, and that the composer was by then quite elderly and not very well (though the orchestral introduction is played with great fire - it's only when the soloist enters that things flag a bit). The third movement, which was recorded on the second day, is much better than the first two. But overall Sammons is the benchmark for all later versions, even in 1929 sound. Naxos have done a superb job with the recorded sound, and a spotlit soloist actually suits this concerto; but you do have to make some allowances. Fortunately the playing is so good that you soon get used to the sound. It is coming up 82 years old!
I'd give this more than 5 stars if I could.