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Elgar: Symphony no 1, Organ Sonata / Hickox, et al

Album Summary

>Elgar, Edward : Symphony no 1 in A flat major, Op. 55
>Elgar, Edward : Sonata for Organ in G major, Op. 28
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

" Richard Hickox is back on sovereign form for Elgar. The BBC Welsh forces are world-class here, in a reading that pulses along with clarity and splendour, building to a gloriously satisfying pay-off. With this and the Elgar Editions issue (right), Elgar year is being well served indeed." -Gramophone (Editor's Choice)

Gramophone Magazine
The SACD recording is spectacular; you really appreciate the sharpness of articulation of the Cardiff players. Hickox's control... climaxes is masterly. In the Scherzo the articulation of the violins and the sharpness of attack is thrilling. In the great melodies of the slow movement Hickox tenderly brings out a songlike quality, making others seem a little studied. The delicate pianissimo as the third theme enters... is breathtaking.

BBC Music Magazine
Hickox... offers an attractive, enterprising coupling... and his account of the Symphony, caught in state-of-the-art sonics, is good, in places excellent.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
The SACD recording for this impressive Elgar First is spectacular; you really appreciate the sharpness of articulation of the Cardiff players.

Hickox's interpretation is comparably impressive, particularly so in the first movement where he has a cunning way of presenting the great Elgarian melodies simply. In the tricky transition from two in a bar to three Hickox broadens the tempo where others follow the composer's example in keeping the minim beat steady; nonetheless he makes that moment a magnificent climax.

Hickox's control of such climaxes is masterly.

In the Scherzo the articulation of the violins and the sharpness of attack is thrilling. In the great melodies of the slow movement Hickox tenderly brings out a songlike quality, making others seem a little studied. The delicate pianissimo as the third theme enters is breathtaking. The two great 'gulp' moments in the finale come at the climax of the passage where the theme of the slow introduction comes in augmentation; there Hickox comes near to matching Elgar himself in impact. Finally, he secures a superbly satisfying crescendo on the brass on the final chord.

The generous coupling adds to the attractions of the disc, an orchestration of a work which should be far better known. The qualities which make Hickox's reading of the Symphony so impressive come out here too.



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Works Details

>Elgar, Edward : Symphony no 1 in A flat major, Op. 55
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Ensemble: BBC National Orchestra of Wales
  • Notes: Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, England (05/22/2006-05/23/2006)
  • Running Time: 52 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1907-1908

>Elgar, Edward : Sonata for Organ in G major, Op. 28
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Ensemble: BBC National Orchestra of Wales
  • Notes: Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, England (05/22/2006-05/23/2006)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1895