Edward Elgar - Cello Concerto, Enigma Variations, Introduction and Allegro, Elegy (1991)
Hallé Orchestra, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli; André Navarra, cello
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 365 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 183 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: EMI | # CDM 7639552 | Time: 01:13:08
Barbirolli made later recordings of all the works on this CD and these have become cornerstones of the catalogue. These are earlier recordings that he did with his own orchestra, the Halle, in the 1950s. To start with, the recording quality is pretty amazing. They were recorded on 35mm film tape rather than half inch recording tape by the Mercury team and have astonishing immediacy and amazingly lifelike. Barbirolli uses an organ in the finale of the Enigma Variations. The recording is a little bass heavy but this is a small caveat. For people who consider Barbirolli to be a bit indulgent as a conductor, these recordings may come as a surprise. The performances are very direct and nicely flowing. They therefore complement rather than compete with the later recordings. Of course, Barbirolli's later recording of the Cello Concerto with Jacqueline du Pre is a very famous and special rendition of the work. However, it is not without its detractors. Andre Navarra, by contrast, plays with golden tone. He plays gorgeously. Highly recommended.