Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Edward ELGAR (1857–1934)
Symphony No. 2 in E flat op. 63 [52:20]
Variations on a Theme - Enigma [31:27]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Georg Solti
rec. Royal Festival Hall, London, 13 February 1975 (Broadcast: Music on Two, 16 March 1975) (2); 25 September 1979 (Broadcast: BBC2 In Performance, 20 October 1979) (Enigma)
Director: Peter Butler; Producer: Brian Large (2); Director: Rodney Greenberg (Enigma)
Sound format: LCPM mono; Picture format: 4:3; Menu languages: English; Booklet languages: E/F/G; Region code: 0
ICA CLASSICS ICAD5011 [84:00]

Experience Classicsonline
ICA have done well - and valiantly – to show us what all the fuss was about with Solti’s LPO Elgar in the 1970s.

They say this is the first time these televised live concert performances have been released on DVD. Were they ever released on videocassette or any other video format – I think not. Solti’s stereo analogue reading of Elgar 2 is known from the Decca LP and cassette recording of the time complete with its iconic sleeve design. It has been much reissued. I saw and still remember the 1975 broadcast under review, believe it or not - on a small black and white TV; it was electrifying even then. Now it has a new breadth and visual zest. It’s an added dimension that really adds usefully to the musical-emotional experience. As for Enigma, Solti’s Decca audio version was with his long-time collaborators, the Chicago Symphony. This DVD allows us to hear him in company with the LPO also at London’s Royal Festival Hall. This venue is splendid in its natural light-wood-appointed walls and floors and with an audience present. There is the odd cough – as at 3.31 in the first movement of the Symphony but nothing really untoward. Neither of these works were filmed in high-definition – unthought of at the time - but the picture is stable and makes for more than acceptable viewing. The Second Symphony is in agreeably clear colour – slightly bleached by comparison with the marginally warmer picture for the 1979 Enigma.

The iconoclastic and passionate Solti flies at the symphony like a Fury. His vitality is mirrored by his athletic podium style with stabbing extravagant gestures that yet stop short of Bernstein’s exuberance. He has the LPO playing at the extreme end of their technical compass. The music exhales breathless excitement especially in I and III with phrases almost, but not quite, falling over each other. This is not thin-lipped Elgar nor is it stiff-upper-lipped. The music goes with a whoop and a sob - Tchaikovskian even. Solti shows absolute identification with the music in his manner and sweeping movements. In the quieter sections he finds time and space for the philosophically reflective. In the finale at 46:33 that stomped out syncopation over wondrously viscous French horns with their mountain-high heroic melody is truly exhilarating.

Enigma comes from an RFH concert four years later and benefits from a warmer bloom to the picture. Again Solti is remarkable for his liberal doses of accelerant and torque. Listen to the skittishly Mendelssohnian Dorabella. WMB, Troyte and GRS are reminiscent of Beecham’s Elgar – not to be dismissed. Solti finds the pulse and keeps it racing. This is not to say that he has no repose as we can hear in WN – another peaceably pastoral kingdom. Nimrod is hushed yet the forward momentum is always present. In the Dorabella viola solo the camera is in the right place but the microphones only lightly pick up the instrument’s sound. The finale ends in a blaze.

The mind implies sumptuous in both cases yet the sound, while being as good as it can be and reporting tiers of detail and emotional punch, is good/competent rather than refulgent.

The broadcast direction for the Symphony has little in the way of zooming in on particular players or benches. It favours the broad view, looking down on the conductor or viewing the span of the orchestra from behind the podium. Enigma indulges the zoomed detailing a little more but not fussily so.

The booklet notes are in English, French and German.

This is a very welcome chance to find out what all the fuss was about with Solti’s headlong passionate Elgar. Pity there was no televised In The South!

Rob Barnett

Full track listing
Symphony No.2 in E flat major, op.63*
I Allegro vivace e nobilmente 16.33
II Larghetto 14.03
III Rondo: Presto 8.14
IV Moderato e maestoso 13.30
Directed by Peter Butler
Produced by Brian Large
Recorded: Royal Festival Hall, London, 13 February 1975
Broadcast: Music on Two, 16 March 1975

Variations on an Original Theme, op.36 ‘Enigma’
Theme: Andante 2.27
Variation I (C.A.E.) L’istesso tempo 2.06
Variation II (H.D.S-P.) Allegro 0.44
Variation III (R.B.T.) Allegretto 1.29
Variation IV (W.M.B.) Allegro di molto 0.33
Variation V (R.P.A.) Moderato 2.01
Variation VI (Ysobel) Andantino 1.23
Variation VII (Troyte) Presto 0.56
Variation VIII (W.N.) Allegretto 1.53
Variation IX (Nimrod) Adagio 3.41
Variation X (Dorabella) Intermezzo: Allegretto 2.42
Variation XI (G.R.S.) Allegro di 0.56
Variation XII (B.G.N.) Andante 2.42
Variation XIII (***) Romanza: Moderato 2.35
Variation XIV (E.D.U.) Finale: Allegro — Presto 5.19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






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.