Elgar: Symphony No. 1 in A flat; Sea Pictures

Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

WORKS: Symphony No. 1 in A flat; Sea Pictures
PERFORMER: Yvonne Minton (mezzo-soprano)LPO/Daniel Barenboim
CATALOGUE NO: SMK 58929 ADD (1973/76)
The attraction here is Yvonne Minton’s glorious 1976 account of Sea Pictures. Her tone is beautifully even, and she shows real commitment to putting the words across (just as well, as there’s no text in the booklet). Unfortunately the Symphony, recorded three years earlier, is not in the same class. The sound is muddy and ill-defined, the LPO strings sound severely strained, and Barenboim’s conducting lacks both rhythmic precision and any real sense of shaping. Stephen Maddock