Elgar: Enigma Variations, Introduction & Allegro

  • Catalogue Number LSO0609
    UPC 822231110927

    James Mallinson producer
    Jonathan Stokes and Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineers

    Introduction and Allegro recorded September and December 2005, Barbican, London
    Enigma Variations recorded January 2007, Barbican, London

    DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
    Notes in English, French and German

  • CD of the Week ‘[Sir Colin Davis] has always been a great Elgarian ... Their Enigma, captured at the beginning of this year, is one of the most beautifully played I can recall, and certainly one of the most moving accounts of this much-recorded music ... This superlative performance is coupled with an equally dazzling account, from 2005, of the Introduction and Allegro for Strings.’ The Sunday Times

    CD of the Week Classic FM

    ‘Colin Davis's LSO Live recordings of the Elgar symphonies are already jewels in the label's crown, so this release brought with it high expectations. Davis's way with Elgar is always a fairly flexible one ... it gives this splendid account of the Enigma Variations a real sense of a living organism. The LSO plays wonderfully.’ The Daily Telegraph

    ‘Of all the issues to mark the 150th anniversary of Elgar's birth, few will be more distinguished than these masterful accounts ... you have an Enigma Variations as beautifully paced and played as any on disc and a superb Introduction & Allegro by the orchestra that premiered the work under the composer.’ The Observer

    ‘The playing of the London Symphony Orchestra at every point is worthy of any of the world's great orchestras.’
    International Record Review

    ‘There's no sign of ageing in Davis's energetic Enigma interpretation, which enjoys an abundance of characterisation from its well-paced statement of the theme to a series of variations that each carry their own fascination. There is luxurious warmth in every sweeping phrase, but also a driving energy that holds the entire work together.’ The Scotsman

    ‘[A] superlative new recording ... Davis’ reading of this marvellous work excels both in the broad sweep and in the intimate details. ‘Nimrod’ has surely never been played with a fresher, less hackneyed approach: each phrase of the variation emerges with fluidity, capped by the bold masculinity of the final line. Once again, LSO Live has taken on one of the most recorded works in the repertoire and provided the definitive account.’ MusicalCriticism.com


Sir Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra

The Variations on an Original Theme, or 'Enigma' as it is commonly known, brought Elgar overnight fame when it appeared in 1899. The music is glorious from start to finish, especially in the serene Nimrod. Each variation is given a cryptic title referring to one of Elgar’s friends although the overall enigma behind the original theme has never been deciphered.

Composer   Elgar
Conductor   Sir Colin Davis
Performers   London Symphony Orchestra

Track list
1. Enigma Variations: Theme - Andante
2. Enigma Variations: Variation I. C.A.E - L'istesso tempo
3. Enigma Variations: Variation II. H.D.S-P - Allegro
4. Enigma Variations: Variation III. R.B.T - Allegretto
5. Enigma Variations: Variation IV. W.M.B - Allegro di molto
6. Enigma Variations: Variation V. R.P.A - Moderato
7. Enigma Variations: Variation VI. Ysobel - Andantino
8. Enigma Variations: Variation VII. Troyte - Presto
9. Enigma Variations: Variation VIII. W.N - Allegretto
10. Enigma Variations: Variation IX. Nimrod - Adagio
11. Enigma Variations: Variation X. Intermezzo - Dorabella - Allegretto
12. Enigma Variations: Variation XI. G.R.S - Allegreo di molto
13. Enigma Variations: Variation XII. B.G.N - Andante
14. Enigma Variations: Variation XIII. Romanza (***) - Moderato
15. Enigma Variations: Variation XIV. E.D.U - Allegro
16. Introduction and Allegro for Strings

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