Notes & Reviews:
Following his critically-acclaimed Elgar Cello Concerto recording with Alisa Weilerstein, Barenboim turns to the symphonies.
Barenboim first recorded the Elgar symphonies for CBS in the early 1970s with the LPO. He now returns with a re-kindled love of Elgar, following performances of The Dream of Gerontius as well as the Cello Concerto with Alisa Weilerstein in 2012 and with a new insight into these works borne of 40 years' experience.
Barenboim is a passionate Elgarian: as a young man he worked regularly with Sir John Barbirolli, one of the greatest of all Elgar conductors (and Jacqueline du Pré's partner in the classic audio and visual recording of the Cello Concerto). He counts The Dream of Gerontius as one of his favourite works.
To hear an orchestra with such a distinctive central European sound playing Elgar, and relating his music so securely to the wider late-romantic tradition, is one of the disc's great pleasures.
BBC Music Magazine, June 2014
This is a superb, in fact I feel justified in calling it a great, Elgar Two. It's difficult to know where to start in listings its excellences...But one must start and finish with Barenboim's interpretation...this is a marvellously full-blooded reading of the Symphony, full of drama and passion...This must be one of the finest performances currently on offer.
Sunday Times, 29th June 2014
The gorgeous, silken string playing is something exceptional for Elgarians, but there is also plenty of Edwardian swagger in the brilliant rondo and majestic finale. A glorious disc.
The Guardian, 22nd May 2014
The surging, unquenchable energy of this account is obvious from the opening bars, which are borne on an irresistible flood of sound from the Berlin Staatskapelle...Every department of this fabulous orchestra seems to make a telling contribution to this performance at some point or other, and it's as much a triumph for the Staatskapelle as it is for its conductor.
The Times, 9th May 2014
Barenboim and the musicians plunge into the Second's ardours and wistful ways as if to the manner born. We quickly realise we're not listening to a British orchestra: the timbre of the horns alone transports us far from Elgar's Malvern hills. Yet the central European sounds only help to link the symphony with the European traditions that nurtured Elgar's art.
Recording information: Philharmonie, Berlin (10/28/2013).
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Works DetailsElgar, Edward : Symphony no 2 in E flat major, Op. 63
- Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
- Ensemble: Staatskapelle Berlin
- Running Time: 56 min. 1 sec.
- Period Time: Post Romantic
- Form: Orchestral
- Written: 1909-1911