Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra continue their critically acclaimed Elgar project with Sea Pictures and The Music Makers, featuring Kathryn Rudge as soloist. Sea Pictures is one of the composer's most popular works, and as an orchestral song cycle, stands alongside those by Mahler and Strauss. The Music Makers has had a more troubled history. Elgar worked on it on and off from 1903 until it's premiere in 1912. Both the words and music received criticism. But for Elgar it was a personal work. He wrote on the manuscript, "This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another. My life was as the vapor, and is not; but this I saw, and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory."
This glowingly idiomatic account of Sea Pictures can only enhance Rudge's growing reputation. With her sensitivity to the text, freshness of timbre and secure vocal technique, she once again proves herself a strongly intuitive interpreter of this repertoire. Under Petrenko’s malleable lead the joint RLPO forces give of their fervent, articulate best. No question about it, Petrenko’s abundantly communicative conception demands to be heard.