Walton/Elgar: Symphony No. 1 in B flat minor; Cockaigne Overture

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Walton/Elgar
LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Symphony No. 1 in B flat minor; Cockaigne Overture
PERFORMER: SNO/Alexander Gibson
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 6570 ADD/DDD (1984/78)
Few works test an orchestra’s strengths and weaknesses quite as cruelly as Walton’s First Symphony. The SNO brass (1983 vintage) pass with flying colours, but there are too many sticky moments from the strings for this to be a safe recommendation. Gibson’s pacing, while largely successful in the outer movements, makes heavy weather of the malicious Scherzo. Nice woodwind playing in the slow movement, though, plus a stirring Cockaigne. Stephen Maddock

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