Elgar: Symphony No. 2; Cockaigne Overture; Dream Children No. 1

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COMPOSERS: Elgar
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Symphony No. 2; Cockaigne Overture; Dream Children No. 1
PERFORMER: Hallé Orchestra/John Barbirolli
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 66399 2 ADD mono 1953/55
Barbirolli first conducted Elgar’s Second Symphony at 48 hours’ notice for the ill Beecham in 1927; the composer later acknowledged him as a ‘rising hope of music in England’, which prophecy he more than fulfilled. The sound may be better on his 1964 stereo version, but this 1954 recording has wonderful Barbirolli traits, such as his predilection for string portamenti and his ability to lead the listener from one climax to another. The Hallé’s playing is exhilarating and entirely at one with its chief conductor. Christopher Fifield

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