Magazine article Gramophone

Elgar

Magazine article Gramophone

Elgar

Article excerpt

Elgar

Symphony No 2, Op 63. Carissima. Chanson de matin, Op 15 No 2. Mina

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko Onyx (F) ONYX4165 (70' * DDD)

Back in May 2015 I reviewed Petrenko's interpretation of Elgar's First Symphony and Cockaigne, remarking on the rhythmical dynamism of the recording and its bright recording quality. If anything, I am even more impressed by the Russian's reading of the Second Symphony, which has a clarity of sound to match the luxuriance of Elgar's orchestration. Indeed, the RLPO, on great form, provide a sumptuous array of textures with an ensemble that is crisp and incisive. It is so good to hear every note of the athletic brass counterpoint in the horns and trumpets and the lithe filigree of Elgar's careful doublings between wind and strings.

Petrenko is, for the most part, spot-on with his tempos. The recapitulation in the first movement is perhaps a tad fast but the sense of forward motion is always compelling. The funereal spirit of the second movement vividly captures that deeply intense, personal sense of melancholy Elgar undoubtedly felt at the death of Edward VII in 1910. Indeed, so intense is the impression of unconsolable sorrow that the music seems at times to surpass that of Mahler or Strauss. …

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