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Edward Elgar: Symphony No. 1 in A flat; Symphony No. 2 in E flat



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Among the first releases on the Hallé recording label, established in 2003, were Elgar’s Symphonies Nos 1 and 2. This recording revisits those works nearly 20 years later, and mark the culmination of Sir Mark Elder’s tenure as Music Director The First Symphony was premiered in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, in 1908 by the Hallé and its Music Director, Hans Richter to whom the symphony is dedicated. It is a work of astonishing musical and structural mastery which was greeted with worldwide acclaim, receiving one hundred performances in its first year. The musical material demonstrates Elgar’s skill at melody and transformation and presents a wide emotional range. By contrast the Second Symphony, with its deeply personal ‘pilgrimage of a soul’, initially received a more muted reception. However, it came into its own after the end of the first world war when the tone of remembrance and tribute possibly reflected the national mood, in what is now considered to be one of Elgar’s finest works. The digital release of the symphonies is accompanied by a bonus track featuring Colin Matthews’ arrangement of Elgar’s partsong The Prince of Sleep (1925). Matthews presented the arrangement to Mark Elder as a gift to mark the conductor’s 70th birthday in 2017, and as a tribute to Elder’s ‘many splendid Elgar performances’. It also reflects what Matthews has described as ‘ a remarkable privilege to have been an observer of the Hallé's development over more than twenty years, watching it become, under Mark, one of the finest orchestras not just in the UK but in the world.’
Information
Catalogue number CDHLD7564
Barcode 5065001341946
Release date 03/05/2024
Category
Label Halle
Format CD
Number of discs 2
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