Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The department of silly Elgar
Leonard Bernstein's notorious BBC Symphony recording of Elgar's Enigma Variations with its seven minute Nimrod has for a long time been at the head of my department of silly Elgar. But this evening's BBC Prom performance by Roger Norrington and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra of the A Flat Symphony proved to be a real challenger to Lennie. I understand Norrington's arguments about playing Elgar without vibrato and with flexible tempi. But if it destroys the music why do it?
Now this is what Elgar meant by a massive hope for the future.
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