One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             



AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Edward ELGAR (1857 - 1934)
Enigma Variations, Op.36 (1899) [32:09]
Nursery Suite (1931) [22:53]
Chanson de Matin Op.15, No.2 (1901) [3:26]
Pomp and Circumstance March No.4, Op.39 (1907) [5:09]
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Yehudi Menuhin
no recording details given; originally issued in part, 1994, Tring International. DDD
REGIS RRC 1219 [63.48]

This low priced re-issue of a Tring recording is not a straight re-issue of the original, which had instead of the Nursery Suite and Chanson de Matin, a superb recording of Elgarís In the South. Quite why it was not re-issued in full, I am not sure, but good as this is, I would have preferred the original.

Yehudi Menuhin, never an inspirational conductor, nevertheless had a long and successful career in this profession with many good recordings under his belt. Although he was not particularly super-competent, he was always treated with the respect he deserved by the ensembles he worked with. He produced some very good recordings, better in fact than one might have expected. This is one of them.

He obviously had, based upon the evidence of this recording, a very good relationship with the Royal Philharmonic, an orchestra which was, as now, having a tough time in the classical music field. This relationship has here produced performances of Elgarís works which, whilst not leading the field are by no means at the bottom. Given the very low price and the simplifying of the repertoire, the disc may well do quite well in the shops given how well known Menuhinís name is.

The disc opens with the Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4. While lacking the authority of a Barbirolli or a Boult the march is nevertheless given a boisterous and stirring performance which many will enjoy. The recording expands magnificently to cause quite a thrill. We next move on to the gently engaging Chanson de Matin. It is not difficult music, and the performance goes very well. The Nursery Suite, inspired by the birth of Princess Margaret Rose, is late Elgar, The seven movements are relatively simple with not much to detain the listener. The work was dedicated to both Princesses, and is in the style of The Wand of Youth suites. At an early run-through in the presence of the Royal Family and other VIPs including Bernard Shaw, it was remarked that although written for the nursery, there was much more to the music than the simplicity of the subject matter might suggest.

By the time we reach the Enigma Variations, the listener will have picked up the impression that we are in for a gentle performance. However this is not a gentle Enigma. There is real muscle in this performance as becomes noticeable at a reasonably early stage. The orchestra respond exceptionally well. The brass and percussion dominate in parts - where it is necessary. The organ reinforces the bottom end of the score in the last variation and does so in a most impressive way. Although the sound of the brass is somewhat over-enthusiastic and can sometimes run away with itself, I would far rather have this than the over-careful renderings we can get today.

Highly recommended, given the performances and the low price but why no In the South?

John Phillips




Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1



Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.