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ELGAR: Symphony No. 2 / Cello Concerto (Harrison, Elgar) (1927-28)

Composer(s):Elgar, Edward
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category ConcertosOrchestral
Catalogue 8.111260
Label Naxos Historical
Quality   320kbps
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Elgar’s second recording of his Symphony No. 2, made only eighteen months after the previous, acoustic set had been released, coincided with the innovation of electrical technology and the opportunity to mark the composer’s seventieth birthday on 2nd June 1927. Both the Symphony and the equally famous recording of the Cello Concerto offer unique insights from being composer-conducted. The tumultuous energy of the opening of the symphony’s first movement, the refusal to indulge the second movement and Elgar’s natural command of the art of transition, so crucial in this of all his works, add significantly to the poignancy and emotional thrust of the work as a whole. Taken at a quicker



Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Mark Obert-Thorn’s new transfers of Elgar’s own recordings, made in 1927 in London’s Queen’s Hall and in 1928 in Kingsway Hall, bring the music-making to life with astonishing realism. One marvels at the absence of disturbing background noise and, in the symphony, the sheer quality of the orchestral sound, with a remarkable dynamic range—for these were among EMI’s first electrical orchestral recordings. Especially in the symphony, one soon sits back and listens to Elgar’s own electrifying performance. The composer’s sense of line, his ability to mould rhythms, with speeds often faster than usual today, regularly brings an extra emotional thrust and the most poignant intensity in pianissimos. This applies also to the Cello


Review By David Denton, Naxos,April 2007

For many years there was speculation that the fast tempos used by Edward Elgar when conducting his own music were controlled with the need to find acceptable points with which to end the sides of the original shellac discs. Detailed evaluation of all his recordings show that some bursts of speed were on sides where there was ample space to accommodate more spacious tempos. This version of the Second Symphony was made to coincide with the innovation of electrical recording technology and came only eighteen months after the previous acoustic set had been released. The improvement completely changed the amount of internal detail that was possible. Yet the significant parts of the performance were the speed and shape of each movement; the very free approach to dynamic


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