Edward Elgar

Elgar Conducts Elgar

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Composers are often not their own best interpreters, and Edward Elgar, whose music went notably out of fashion after the First World War, may have tempered readings of his works to fit the times. But while these performances are quicker, lighter, and in some ways less overtly Romantic than most performances of his music by later conductors, they are likewise clear-eyed and clean-limbed, and more deeply felt. The gleaming Falstaff and Nursery Suite, and the world premiere of the Cello Concerto with soloist Beatrice Harrison, whose complete identification with the music and superb interplay with the composer/conductor elevate her performance to greatness, combine to make these recordings definitive in their own way, if not wholly representative. Cleanly and quietly remastered with a wonderful sense of vintage, this disc demands to be heard by Elgar fans who have heretofore held back from these performances because of their age.

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