Elgar: The Music Makers; Sea Pictures

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WORKS: The Music Makers; Sea Pictures
PERFORMER: Felicity Palmer (contralto)LSO & Chorus/Richard Hickox
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 65126 2 DDD (1986)
Recorded nine years ago, this reissue still makes fine listening. The ebb and flow of Elgarian form is nowhere more intricate than in The Music Makers, and Hickox controls the mosaic of self-quotation and interlocking paragraphs of visionary poetry, ardent lyricism and explosive action in real style, bringing the whole complex structure to an excitingly developmental peak at ‘And therefore today is thrilling’. The LSO and Chorus perform splendidly, and the sound is good, if not revelatory. Sea Pictures, graced by tender and excitingly intense singing from Palmer, is also touchingly presented, with Elgar’s exquisite range of marine orchestral tints luminously characterised. Anthony Payne