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Elgar: Enigma Variations, Etc / Litton, Royal Philharmonic


Release Date: 05/23/2000 
Label:  Virgin Classics Special Import Catalog #: 61255   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Virgin Classics Ultraviolet label offers this reissue of a 1988 EMI recording of classic performances by Andrew Litton and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of works by Edward Elgar. Litton and the forces of the RPO are superb throughout, successfully capturing the essence of the Elgar sound and quite possibly offering quintessential interpretations of these compositions. The sound quality of the recording, made at the fabled Abbey Road studios, is of the highest quality.
The disc opens with the evocative Concert Overture, 'In the South,' inspired by a holiday Elgar spent in Alassio on the Italian Riviera. Litton draws forth bright tonal colors and paces the work beautifully, alternating between bold, brash exclamations and tender,
Read more serene understatements. Next is a spacious, graceful account of the Serenade in E Minor, with the RPO strings providing a lush, sumptuous sound, and elegant, reserved playing, particularly in the moving Larghetto. Finally, the Variations on an Original Theme, known as the 'Enigma' due to the unknown source of the melody of the theme. Litton and company move smoothly through the depictions of the various personalities, ranging from delicacy to grandeur, mirthfulness to melancholy, culminating in an exuberant, vivacious finale. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
In the South, Op. 50 "Alassio" by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1904; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 21 Minutes 18 Secs. 
2.
Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 12 Minutes 40 Secs. 
3.
Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 "Enigma" by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898-1899; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 30 Minutes 33 Secs. 

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