Elgar: Symphony No. 1; Introduction and Allegro; Sospiri; The Spanish Lady – Suite

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COMPOSERS: Elgar
LABELS: Decca
WORKS: Symphony No. 1; Introduction and Allegro; Sospiri; The Spanish Lady – Suite
PERFORMER: LPO/Georg Solti; Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Neville Marriner
CATALOGUE NO: 440 322-2 ADD (1972/68)
Solti’s recording of Elgar 1 blew across the face of British music in the early Seventies like a blast of fresh air. Immersing himself in Elgar’s own brisk interpretations, Solti forced us to reassess the provincial tradition of Boult and Barbirolli. Hearing it again now, one is struck, if anything, by the lavish attention to detail and by a sense of loving devotion to the music; the slow movement is positively reverential. More recent readings (Slatkin, Davis, etc) show how things have developed, and Hurst’s Naxos account is a strong budget contender. But Solti’s version is deeply felt and gloriously played. Barry Millington

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