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Elgar: Symphonies, Orchestral Works / Davis, BBC Symphony

Elgar / Davis / Bbc Sym Orch
Release Date: 10/10/2005 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 4621992  
Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Graham SheenJean Rigby
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony OrchestraBBC Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 5 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

OK, so we don’t actually need another box of Elgar, but after his very disappointing series of Holst recordings for Chandos, it’s nice to renew one’s acquaintance with these excellently recorded performances and hear Andrew Davis on top of his game. He is one of the few conductors to do equally well by both of the symphonies, for instance. He’s got the pacing right, and more importantly, revels in that rich, beefy, Elgar sound. After enduring Barenboim’s peculiar recent Elgar Second, it’s especially gratifying to hear a conductor nail that decadent, “malign influence” episode in the first movement’s development section.

Don’t get the idea, though, that Davis is only compelling in the slow bits. While his Holst seriously lacks
Read more impact, here he’s fully up to the big moments. In the South has the necessary epic sweep, for example, and Davis projects the raucous outbursts in Cockaigne about as well as anyone. For the record, he includes the optional organ part at the end as he does also, unapologetically, in this excellent version of the Enigma Variations. Falstaff, which can sound dry and rather dull, here has plenty of character and atmosphere, and a welcome sense of direction.

Maybe the three Pomp and Circumstance Marches don’t swagger quite as much as they could (although they sound terrific), and I suppose the strings in the Introduction and Allegro could have more heft, but with all of the shorter works sensitively done and a considerable bonus in this excellent version of the neglected cantata The Music Makers, these four discs basically contain all of the orchestral Elgar that you need, minus the concertos. It’s good to see Warner making the performances available once again, particularly as they didn’t last long in the catalog the first time around. They are really good and deserve a second chance.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in A flat major, Op. 55 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907-1908; England 
2.
Symphony no 2 in E flat major, Op. 63 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909-1911; England 
3.
In the South, Op. 50 "Alassio" by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1904; England 
4.
Pomp and Circumstance Marches (5), Op. 39: no 1 in D major by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; England 
5.
Pomp and Circumstance Marches (5), Op. 39: no 3 in C minor by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; England 
6.
Pomp and Circumstance Marches (5), Op. 39: no 4 in G major by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1907; England 
7.
Cockaigne Overture, Op. 40 "In London Town" by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900-1901; England 
8.
Introduction and Allegro for String Quartet and String Orchestra, Op. 47 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904-1905; England 
9.
Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; England 
10.
Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 "Enigma" by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898-1899; England 
11.
Falstaff, Op. 68 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Graham Sheen (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1913; England 
Date of Recording: 03/1995 
12.
Grania and Diarmid, Op. 42: Funeral March by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; England 
Date of Recording: 03/1995 
13.
Romance for Bassoon and Orchestra, Op. 62 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Graham Sheen (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; England 
Date of Recording: 03/1995 
14.
Froissart Overture, Op. 19 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; England 
Date of Recording: 03/1995 
15.
The Music Makers, Op. 69 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Jean Rigby (Alto)
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912; England 
Language: English 
16.
Elegy for Strings, Op. 58 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; England 
17.
Sospiri, Op. 70 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1914; England 
18.
Sursum corda, Op. 11 "Elevation" by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; England 
19.
Dream Children, Op. 43 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; England 
20.
Salut d'amour, Op. 12 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1889; England 
21.
Chanson de nuit, Op. 15 no 1 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; England 
22.
Chanson de matin, Op. 15 no 2 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; England 

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