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  • Elgar: Enigma Variatons, Cockaigne Overture
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Elgar: Enigma Variatons, Cockaigne Overture


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Audio CD, October 9, 1989
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$11.16 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

These are performances of such outstanding authority that even the British have praised them as among the very best available. The Baltimore Symphony plays with the utmost conviction and enthusiasm--Cockaigne really rocks, and the finale of Enigma, with a very well balanced optional organ part thrown in, is a sonic showcase. In fact, Telarc's sound is the best this music has ever been offered, with an especially impressive deep bass extension. There are many fine recordings of the Enigma Variations, but this one deserves an honored place in your collection. --David Hurwitz

1. In London Town: Concert Overture, Op. 40
2. Enigma Variations, Op.36
3. I. Allegro Piacevole
4. II. Larghetto
5. III. Allegretto
6. Love's Greeting, Op.12

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: David Zinman
  • Composer: Edward Elgar
  • Audio CD (October 9, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000003CVI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,641 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
78%
4 star
11%
3 star
11%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 9 customer reviews
The playing is flawless and exciting.
Deborah Dise
In this recording you hear absolute unanimity of purpose in making great music.
Barry Brownstein
Telarc's sound engineers have produced another fine well-balanced recording.
John Kwok

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mike G. on July 28, 2005
This recording has definitely grown on me. I own three recordings of this work. This was the first one that I purchased, and I later bought Gardiner/Vienna Philharmonic and Solti/Vienna Philharmonic. The last two soon eclipsed this recording, but it came back into favor when I began to realize its merits.
In my Gardiner/VP veview, I pointed out that Gardiner brings a distinctly German feel to Elgar, and the interpretation seemed justified. The program here is almost identical to Gardiner's in regards to the type of selections. Zinman has 'Cockaigne', a concert overture, the short piece 'Love's Greeting', and the 'Serenade for Strings', while Gardiner has 'In the South' concert overture, 'Sospiri', a short adagio for strings and organ, and the 'Introduction and Allegro', also for strings. And of course both have Enigma. What I noticed when comparing these two albums was that Zinman's interpretation was as English sounding as Gardiner's was German. Each chose the perfect program to represent his own style (Zinman's pieces sound significantly more English), and the only overlap of interpretation happens in Enigma. In my opinion, the style could lean either way. Zinman conducts the Variations smoothly and rather as a whole (incidentally, there is only one 30-minute track here and not the usual 15 tracks). He emphasizes balance between the groups of instruments and is particularly keen on dynamic relationships. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is very stately, even in the very loud parts, and never overblown. They are still able to create large volumes of sound, but always in a controlled manner.
Each recording has its slight problems (I gave all three CDs 4 stars each). I think the recording quality is excellent, and my problems with this recording are entirely subjective.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 2000
This is one of the very first CDs that I ever bought and it is safe to say that of the 300 or so CDs that I've collected over the past ten years, it is still probably the finest in terms of engineering quality. From the most tenuous whisper to the most thunderous tutti, even the minutest detail comes through with the utmost transparency, in totally realistic aural projection and dynamic perspective. One could use the overwhelming organ-laced climaxes of Cockaigne Overture and Enigma Variations to test the dynamic limits of one's sound system and yet the sound always remains crisp, never degenerating into noise.
Zinman's prowess as an orchestral trainer deserves much of the credit for his orchestra's avoidance of sonic blatancy and his readings are fully worthy of the Telarc sound lavished upon them. These performances are far more than merely polished, demonstrating a deep sympathy for the Elgarian idiom. At the same time, they make this music sound brand new. Musically, I would place Zinman's version of the Enigma Variations slightly ahead even of Monteux's LSO recording and the other performances are no less impressive.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 7, 2001
I recently stumbled upon this recording after hearing others with David Zinman conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich. Without a doubt, this early recording of his with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra shows why he is one of our most distinguished, if underrated, conductors. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra plays these Elgar works with ample passion and precision, at a level of excellence that one expects from the American "Big Five" orchestras (Those in Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia.). Zinman is a compassionate interpreter of Elgar's music, but also a fine technician who does a great job probing the vast dynamic range of these scores. So I can understand why British music critics have greatly admired these interpretations of Elgar's music. Telarc's sound engineers have produced another fine well-balanced recording.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Dise on March 28, 2013
In the reviews here, there is some little bit of damning with faint praise, and I just wanted to address that...

This is a recording any orchestra would be proud to add to their discography. Moreover, as a trombone player myself, allow me to say that you are *not* likely to find a better low-brass section than what your hear on this disc. Unfortunately, I don't know quite all the personnel, but I have it on good authority that two of the trombone players are Eric Carlson and Doug Yeo, who moved on to the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, respectively. This bone section sizzles! Add Dave Fedderly, BSO's accomplished tuba player, and you have a rock-the-house low-brass section that, in this sort of music, really makes its presence felt -- Elgar loved him some bones. The playing is flawless and exciting.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "samueljamescat" on January 16, 2000
If I had to sum up the 20th Century in a short recording or a long one, I'd choose Ravel's "La Valse" and Walton's Violin Concerto. I don't have a recommendation for the Ravel, although when I lived in Dallas, it was the only thing I heard the Dallas Symphony play well. My choice for the Walton is Kyung Wha Chung's, with Previn and the LSO. Being human, I have the basic right to change my mind; stay posted.
This morning, I put this recording on, while trying to read the "NY Times." Before long, the tears were streaming down my face. Elgar, perhaps more than any other composer, captures his own time, his own place, his own friends. Yes, this was a time before alienation had such a grip on us, before we moved all of the time, and we knew our neighbors. There is an elegance, that seems built into the genetic code. The Waltz Kings capture that for their own place and time but not quite like Elgar. Have we bred Edwardian ease out of our DNA or just buried it so deeply by historical events and behavior, so deep in the hard, hard ground that it is impervious to a back-hoe? For me, it takes something like "The Enigma Variations" to resurrect this very important quality of elegance.
Yes, that quality is here, but the surprise is there, too. Whenever something, like war shatters the psyche, Elgar can tell us about it. Listen to Perlman play his violin concerto. Elgar's time was one where we could express indifference, and it could be a minor character foible. Now it is not hate but indifference, which is the very opposite of the love, we should celebrate on this holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a time, when joy was automatic and not hard work. I'm not Miniver Cheevy, but we need this music, and nobody plays it better, than on this disc.
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Elgar: Enigma Variatons, Cockaigne Overture
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