Elgar: Symphony No. 2 & Serenade

Album cover art for upc 095115519721
Label: CHANDOS
Catalog: CHSA 5197
Format: SACD

BBC Symphony Orchestra; Gardner, Edward

Following a highly praised recording of Symphony No. 1 last year, Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony present here an electrifying interpretation of Elgar’s Symphony No. 2, with the addition of one of his most performed works: the Serenade for Strings. Having now become experts in British repertoire with highly lauded series of Walton and Britten, they reveal all the aspects of Elgar’s masterpiece in this surround sound recording. Symphony No. 2 is richly orchestrated and skillfully constructed, drawing on hugely varied resources of harmony, rhythm and melody, and making considerable use of thematic transformation as a unifying technique. While the Symphony No. 2 is one of the greatest products of Elgar’s maturity, the Serenade in E minor for Strings is perhaps the most charming product of his youth. In this three-movement piece dominated by a deeply passionate Larghetto, the strings of the BBC Symphony superbly encapsulate all the emotions offered by this graceful work: tender lyrical and intense.

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