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Elgar: Overtures

Edward Elgar , Alexander Gibson , Royal Scottish National Orchestra Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Price: $7.78 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 4 Songs, 1983 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2002 $7.78  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Froissart Overture, Op. 1913:58Album Only
listen  2. Cockaigne Overture, Op. 40, "In London Town"14:26Album Only
listen  3. In the South Overture, Op. 50, "Alassio"20:40Album Only
listen  4. Handel - Overture in D Minor (arr. from Chandos Anthem No. 2) 5:15$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Conductor: Alexander Gibson
  • Composer: Edward Elgar
  • Audio CD (August 27, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B00006ANZQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,431 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantasic In the South, not so good elsewhere May 30, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was turned onto this recording when I sought a satisfactory interpretation of In the South, Elgar's reminiscence of an Italian vacation, and found this version recommended by the All Music Guide All Music Guide to Classical Music: The Definitive Guide to Classical Music (All Music Guide Required Listening). At about 20 minutes' duration, In the South is the main reason to buy this recording.

I wasn't disappointed by the music; conductor Alexander Gibson delivers a high energy and full-throated version of In the South, which has four sections about Italy. However, the remaining music on the disk -- Elgar's Froissart and Cockaigne overtures and Handel's "Chandos Anthem No. 2" as overture for orchestra in D minor -- were not in the same league. The two Elgar overtures paled in comparison to performances by Barbirolli Elgar: Orchestral Works [Box Set] and others I've heard to such extent I chose not to retain the disk.

The recording, made in the early 1980s, is pretty good and the Scottish National Orchestra always plays well for Gibson. The recording is not full by CD standards and could have accommodated another piece, too. So this is recommended to people that seek a top-notch version of In the South. Others I'd recommend are by Barbirolli Elgar: In the South; Walton: Partita; Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem in a much better concert of English music, Silvestri's recording famous from the LP era but now only available with the
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This disc, recorded in 1982, was the first CD to be added to my LP collection. Immediately the writing was on the wall and the deciding factor was the astonishing clarity and lack of distortion of the timpani at the end of the 'In the South' overture. This was a piece that I was very familiar with having played it several times as a trumpet player sitting close enough to the timpani to be quite aware of what I should be hearing.

Twenty nine years later the disc is still a thrilling experience although I am aware that the Scottish orchestra had not achieved the fullness of tone in 1982 that it was later to achieve with Jarvi. The recording, still very clear in the Chandos manner, reveals these failings but also reveals the compulsive excitement that Gibson was able to conjure out of his provincial orchestra as it was then.

The In the Sooth performance equals that of the famous Silvestri account and the Cockaigne and the Froissart are an easy match for the much loved and admired Barbirolli accounts, also red-bloodied in their emotional impact. The Overture in d minor has impressive emotional depth.

These are exciting performances in the Barbirolli mould and far away from the more considered Boult approach for example. It is a pleasure to see them re-issued at a lower price.

I would suggest that they are certainly well worth considering as especially vivid accounts despite some thinness of tone at the top end. The brass and percussion are thrillingly real.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHY NOT? November 2, 2011
Format:Audio CD
Elgar was the English of the English, so is there any reason why a Scottish orchestra under a Scottish conductor cannot give a first-class account of his overtures? On the evidence of this fine set, none at all. Obviously there are other excellent versions around, but this disc competes on a level of quality where preferences are probably more a matter of the listener's temperament than of any considerations that I might call `objective'. Elgar has a spring in his step in all the four pieces here, and that suits them all. What is even more important is how his orchestral writing is made to sound. That is an issue partly of the playing and partly of the recording, and several hearings have reinforced my first impression that this matter has been exceptionally well handled here.

Elgar must have been difficult to record, at least to judge from many recordings that have come my way. His range of tone-colour is wide and it is rich, but to convey that on record has defeated many sound-specialists. Shaw thought him `the greatest of orchestral technicians', but his textures can become thick if everyone is not careful. The triumph of this set is that there is light and air in the sound, and if you had not previously considered Elgar in Shaw's hyperbolic terms I suggest, quite seriously, that this recital might tempt you to think along some similar lines. The Scottish National Orchestra, not yet `Royal' in 1983 apparently, was not quite the Berlin Phil or the Chicago Symphony I dare say, but it is perfectly fit for purpose. Gibson had been there about 20 years by then, and he had achieved wonders in raising it to a genuine threshold of international quality. You will hear some fine playing from every department as the recital goes along.
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