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Thread: Favorite Enigma Variations?

  1. #46
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brahmsianhorn View Post
    Regardless, I too enjoy Elgar’s own recordings of his works, particularly the symphonies.
    Totally understandable!

  2. #47
    Senior Member Joachim Raff's Avatar
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    This is my long standing recording i purchased for my early collection. Having listened to others including Monteux and Boult it comes out very well. Well balanced with superb performances from LAPO/Mehta. Sound quality and remaster is top notch.

    elgar.jpg
    Last edited by Joachim Raff; May-17-2020 at 17:04.

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  4. #48
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    Previn/Royal Philharmonic
    Sinopoli/Philharmonia
    Bernstein/BBCSO-my fav
    Colin Davis/LSO Live-great symphonies with this combo, too.
    Barbirolli/Philharmonia
    Slatkin/LPO
    Jochum/LSO-with a cracking Haydn Variations
    Last edited by Gray Bean; May-27-2020 at 04:50.

  5. #49
    Senior Member regnaDkciN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Bean View Post
    Previn/Royal Philharmonic
    Sinopoli/Philharmonia
    Bernstein/BBCSO-my fav
    Colin Davis/LSO Live-great symphonies with this combo, too.
    Barbirolli/LSO
    Slatkin/LPO
    Jochum/LSO-with a cracking Haydn Variations
    When did Barbirolli record this with the LSO?

  6. #50
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    My mistake....its the Philharmonia on EMI. Sorry to say there is no long lost LSO recording.
    Last edited by Gray Bean; May-27-2020 at 04:51.

  7. #51
    Senior Member AbsolutelyBaching's Avatar
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    I know I'm resurrecting a thread that's been Norwegian Blued for about 2½ months, but if you don't know Andrew Litton's 2019 recording on BIS with the Bergen Philharmonic, I'd strongly recommend.

    enigma.jpg

    Personally, I found the 1957 Barbirolli+Hallé recording awful (thin strings all round); Boult's 1971 recording is fine; Mackerras' 1998 recording sounded rather blurry and indistinct to me (I don't mean the sound quality, but the playing). I also found the recording level of Colin Davis' 2007 recording with the LSO exceptionally low, which irritated me enough to turn it off quite quickly, rather than up! I like Andrew Davies 1994 recording with the Philharmonia, too, though I found it a bit clinical.

    The BBC Music Magazine (Vol. 13 No. 6, 2005 sometime) also released quite a good recording by Tadaaki Otaka with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. It has been my go-to version for a long time... but Litton+Bergen PO is now my new 'standard' recording.

    Edited to add:
    Davies recording was actually an analogue one recorded in 1981, which must make it one of the latest analogue recordings I can think of! The 1994 date is when Sony re-released it as a digital conversion. It's a very good recording anyway.
    Last edited by AbsolutelyBaching; Aug-18-2020 at 21:11.

  8. #52
    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Did spin this one yesterday, hard to beat .
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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  10. #53
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    Solti was a fine Elgarian. His Symph.no.1 is the best I've heard and he did a fine job in the Violin Concerto with Kyung-Wha Chung.

    As for the "Enigma", one I like is Norman del Mar's brisk and breezy take on DG.

  11. #54
    Senior Member AbsolutelyBaching's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post

    Did spin this one yesterday, hard to beat .
    Found his 'Nimrod' much too fast and with far too little articulated phrasing. But his Cockaigne overture is a rip-roaring ride, for sure.

  12. #55
    Senior Member Simplicissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbsolutelyBaching View Post
    I know I'm resurrecting a thread that's been Norwegian Blued for about 2½ months, but if you don't know Andrew Litton's 2019 recording on BIS with the Bergen Philharmonic, I'd strongly recommend.

    enigma.jpg

    Personally, I found the 1957 Barbirolli+Hallé recording awful (thin strings all round); Boult's 1971 recording is fine; Mackerras' 1998 recording sounded rather blurry and indistinct to me (I don't mean the sound quality, but the playing). I also found the recording level of Colin Davis' 2007 recording with the LSO exceptionally low, which irritated me enough to turn it off quite quickly, rather than up! I like Andrew Davies 1994 recording with the Philharmonia, too, though I found it a bit clinical.

    The BBC Music Magazine (Vol. 13 No. 6, 2005 sometime) also released quite a good recording by Tadaaki Otaka with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. It has been my go-to version for a long time... but Litton+Bergen PO is now my new 'standard' recording.

    Edited to add:
    Davies recording was actually an analogue one recorded in 1981, which must make it one of the latest analogue recordings I can think of! The 1994 date is when Sony re-released it as a digital conversion. It's a very good recording anyway.
    Interesting post! It stimulated me to listen to the Litton/Bergen recording, re-evaluate the Davis/LSO, and renew my acquaintance with an old favorite, Handley/LPO (1985).

    I’d always listened to the Davis/LSO in multi-channel, but in response to your comment, I tried listening to it in stereo. I have to say, you have a point. The recording has an extraordinary dynamic range, and in stereo the quiet parts are way too faint. Turning up the volume sufficiently for the quiet parts makes the loud parts way too loud for my taste. In 3-channel or 5.1 SACD playback, this is less the case. I still think very highly of the interpretation and playing on this recording, but the dynamic range in stereo is a problem for me.

    I agree that the Litton/Bergen recording is just fabulous. The playing and sound quality are out of this world. The orchestra has a rich, wonderfully textured sound that suits this work brilliantly. Comparatively, I would say that Litton’s interpretation is passionate, energetic, and dramatic. There are moments of dream-like ecstasy and of pure sweetness. Listening to this recording over and over (I couldn’t stop), I discovered that it is a remarkably coherent soundscape of this complex composition.

    I felt that I wouldn’t be able properly to appreciate Litton’s accomplishment without comparing it to something quite different, and here I find my old favorite Vernon Handley to be the conductor to turn to. The sound and playing of the LPO in this 1985 recording is perfectly fine, but not nearly as good as Litton/Bergen. Handley’s interpretation is lighter, often playful, and one might say by comparison somewhat superficial, but I find it very good. There’s no bombast or pretension in Handley, just consistent lyricism.

    I’ve spent so much time listening to the Enigma Variations this past week that I’ve fallen behind on my other listening projects, but it’s been a very enjoyable experience.

  13. #56
    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    I listened to a few recordings this week. Boult with the BBC Symphony is good and Barbirolli with the Philharmonia is as good as any (and better than most).

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