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Elgar-Symphony No 1 (LSO Davis) Live, Original recording reissued

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Feb. 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live, Original recording reissued
  • Label: Lso Live
  • ASIN: B00005Y473
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,547 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
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21:06
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7:52
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12:53
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Product Description

Product Description

Sir Colin Davis and the LSO recorded Elgar's symphonies live at a series of acclaimed concerts at the Barbican during Autumn 2001. The LSO has a long and illustrious association with Elgar and his music. He conducted the LSO in 1904, the year it was founded, and was later to become its Principal Conductor. Over recent years Sir Colin Davis, the current Principal Conductor, has established an unrivalled reputation in Elgar's music.

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In the sleeve note to this recording of Elgar's Symphony No.1, conductor Sir Colin Davis is quoted as saying that age is impressing upon him the desire to look for more space in his musical interpretations. "There is no virtue in driving things just for the sake of it, which is a temptation of youth," he says. Well, this is certainly the music-making of a mature Elgarian, broadly conceived though never too stately, carefully paced, lovingly phrased, before the symphony really comes off the leash in the finale. Overall, some will prefer the more intense energy of a Solti or indeed of Elgar himself, but this is a distinguished Elgar One. Just occasionally there is a sense of the reading being over-studied--maybe in part due to the sheer clarity of the sound engineered by the legendary Tony Faulkner--natural and full-bodied, but affording almost too much detail in the somewhat confined acoustic of London's Barbican Centre. But there are some great moments--the building of tension in the rapt slow movement, for example, and especially in the closing section of the finale from the point where the main theme magically reappears at half the original speed, then on to the triumphant conclusion. --Andrew Green

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Excellent ,high quality recording of this majestic and so English of Elgars many wonderful compositions.The impact of the opening theme of the first movement,to which Elgar later returns,is so enormous its almost physical,and it can reduce the listener to tears. It speaks of high ideals and purpose,courage,fortitude,tenacity,sacrifice,and all the things that Britons used to believe that their their Empire stood for.in the world of long ago.
Back in the sixties,I remember seeing the BBC's coverage of Winston Churchill's State Funeral,and part of Elgars First Symphony was used to enhance the drama and pathos of that momentous occasion. It was the most gifted choice of music,and listening to this cd for the first time,brought iut all back to me in total clarity,to the point where I wept!
Elgar is at the forefront of the great English composers,in that so much of what he wrote provides a window in our imagination through which we an actually see how the "English Race"used to be,or more correctly,how we would like to believe we used to be,and because of this,his place is unique in British Classical music,and forever assured.
If Britains historical past is of interest to you,and you want a moodsetter to focus your thinking,just play this--loud!--and you won't regret it!
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Format: Audio CD
At this sort of price one can not complain too much about most recordings however this one should be championed. Davis is a fine Elgarian and the LSO are in great form here- particularly the brass. The fact that it is live is of no effect to the sound quality and I would say gives the playing the sort of presence and energy one would associate with a good live performance. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Sir Edward Elgar completed this symphony in the summer of 1908. Only a few years before he had given a lecture in which he said that "Perhaps the (symphonic) form is somewhat battered by the ill-usage of its admirers. But when the looked-for genius comes, it may be absolutely revived." Who was the "looked-for" genius? Elgar himself! Elgar had many years of preparation for the composition of his symphonies. When he was a young boy, he devoured the scores of the Beethoven symphonies; little knowing he would one day write a great symphony himself.

The Symphony No. 1 was written when Elgar had fully matured. Elgar had played with the idea of writing a symphony ten years before he had actually completed one. (He originally planned to write a program symphony based on the life of General Gordon. The scraps of this attempt were later incorporated into his second symphony.) As Elgar himself wrote in a letter to Walford Davies, "There is no programme beyond a wide experience of human life with a great charity (love) and a massive hope in the future." This very aptly describes the symphony, which has a strongly heroic vein throughout. Even the Adagio has a real sense of heroic grandeur, not to mention the other movements.

Sir Colin Davis has a strong advantage over many other Elgar interpreters- he has under his direction the orchestra that Elgar himself was once the principal conductor of- the LSO. The LSO's rich, dark, quality is a wonderful compliment to Elgar's music. Davis leads the LSO to perform an absolutely outstanding rendition of this piece. While Davis' tempos may be somewhat slower than usual, this is more than made up for with powerful brass and timpani, as well as lush strings. With the slower tempo, Davis succeeds in pulling out wonderful detail.
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Format: Audio CD
Collin Davis' LSO Live recording of Elgar's 1st Symphony elevated this work to a different hight, with Wagnerian grandeur and bold handling of tempi. The traditionalists may find this offensive, but there is nothing dull nor pedantic about this perfromance at all. Quite opposite!

Slowsections are most beautifully sustained and sublime. Each climaxes are excuted masterfully with maximum impact. Finale is one of the most compelling and powerful with massive emphasis on cascading strings part. If you are tired of the traditional small scale Elgar, this recording is well worth listening along side Sinopoli's miraculous account on DG.
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By A Customer on 20 May 2004
Format: Audio CD
I was absolutely shocked to read one of the above reviews damning this recording as not worth the money. Firstly, at this price how could it not be, and secondly, this recording is quite simply superb. I always think it's wonderful when they leave the applause on the end of live recordings so that you can hear how the audience responded to the performance. You only need to listen to the rapturous cheering that accompanies the end of this recording to realise what a great performance Davis draws from the LSO. To criticise it as too pedantic is to misunderstand the nature of Elgar's musical genius. The score is so fantastically colourful and this recording does it full justice: the second movement is so alive and exciting; the slow movement is so beautifully English and the inner theme of the final movement so strikingly poignant. I really cannot recommend this recording enough. I am taken aback that anyone could give it anything but five stars.
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