Top positive review
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A hot, atypical Elgar album
on February 8, 2015
- Hot brass and intense string sections makes Elgar sound like Richard Strauss (I don't know if this is a good thing, but it sound phenomenal)
- In the South: Elgar's seldom played overture works great as the opening track and personally think it's just as good as the "Enigma" variations.
- The Vienna Philharmonic makes Elgar come alive, they literally play music, not just notes.
- The mixing is a bit muddy and sometimes overwhelmingly loud.
Additional comments: This recording is fierce, it's the only recording of the "Enigma" variations that has literally made me wept. This is a strong one. However, for some reason Gardiner approached Elgar in a very Straussian or Wagnerian manner. I've never heard Elgar in such fashion. Some alternate recordings that sound very different to this one are André Previn's 1979 recording with the London Symphony Orchestra under EMI, and Sir Colin Davis's 1972 recording also with the LSO. Both are brilliant but are much more tender, perhaps more "British" sounding than this Gardiner's. As another reviewer stated; Gardiner and the Vienna Philharmonic make Elgar sound like a full blown Austrian.