EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 (as published, previously unissued alternate takes, 1920 abridged acosutic recording and Adagio w/Beatrice Harrison [cello], HRH Princess Victoria [piano]), Cockaigne, Op. 40 (stereo and mono), Prelude to The Kingdom, Op. 51 (stereo and mono), Rosemary (two versions), May Song (two versions), Serenade Lyrique, March from The Wand of Youth Suite No. 2, Symphony No. 1 in A Flat, Op. 55 (complete with alternate takes), Symphony No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 63 (movement 3 side 1), Violin Concerto in B Minor, Op. 61 (4 alternate takes), Enigma Variations, Op. 36 (Variations V-VI-VII), Caractacus, Op. 35 - Triumphal March and Interlude, Dream Children, Op. 43/1, Severn Suite, Op. 87 - Tournament, Mazurka, Op. 10/1, Wand of Youth Suites Nos. 1 and 2 - excerpts, The Banner of St. George, Op. 33 - It comes from the misty ages, God Save the King (arr. Elgar), Croft - O God our help in ages past.

Catalogue Number: 10S036

Label: SOMM

Reference: CD 261-4

Format: CD

Price: $34.98

Description: This set contains virtually the entire 1928 Elgar studio sessions of the Cello Concerto, as well as several unused takes of major orchestral works and miniatures - pressings which have hitherto been unheard. These pressings are from Elgar’s own private library by way of Arthur Reynolds, a keen collector of original Elgar photographs and recordings. The only person to whom Reynolds granted access to this treasure trove was master recording engineer, Lani Spahr. Miraculously, Spahr discovered that various HMV sessions were possibly recorded with a completely separate microphone/cutter arrangement. These double sets of discs were identified by their matrix numbers and after countless hours of painstaking work he was able to, in many instances, synchronize the various sides into a stereo image. This provides insight into the sessions themselves, along with astonishing sound quality. 20 pages of notes, musical examples and historical session photos with essays by Spahr and, on the cello concerto recordings, Terry King. The last lines of a long review in the October Gramophone: “There are historic releases that make the grade because they are just that - ‘historic’ - and there are releases that make history because they are musically overwhelming. This set is both.” 4 CDs.


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