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  Membran -
  Elgar: Enigma Variations - RPO/Menuhin
  Elgar: Enigma Variations Op. 36, In the South Op. 50, Pomp & Circumstance March No. 4

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Yehudi Menuhin (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 2

Review by brenda June 2, 2005 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
A big disappointment. Although my fav. Enigmas are Barbirolli (& Halle) and Andrew Davis, I have a soft spot for Menuhin's other Enigma recording, also with the RPO but on Philips, coupled with a fine cello concerto (with J Lloyd-Webber). This lacks the panache and sweep of any of those other versions but it's still decent (in every sense), human, lively and worthy of three and a half or even four stars.

However, what rules this out of court is the recording, which in turn, is further butchered by Membran's absurd editing.

The recording is shrill and glassy at anything abouve a med. volume, and quite wearing. It destroys the inherent richness of the work by burying the RPO strings under a sea of spotlit (and shrill) brass. Worse, the multi-miked spotlighting has instruments wander around the totally artifical sound stage, - tuba on horizontal line with the (few) violins, - sometimes even in front of them, strings restricted to a spot left of centre, timpani that move from centre to centre right - its AWFUL.

And Membran's absurd editing of silences and pauses is as bad if not worse than ever. The last of the Enigma has barely finished when "In the South" is launched, - no time to psychologically "finish" with the preceeding music at all. But the launch of Pomp & Circ. # 4 after "In the South"s gentle, Italian folk influenced closing section is diabolical. Have these people done everything by computer, setting a one second silence gap between everything, movements, whole works, fragments???. It's easier to believe than the notion that a human being was involved in this butchery.

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Review by Yikes December 18, 2005 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Iím not the biggest Elgar fan, but this is one of four discs that I purchased to try Membrans budget Hybrid SACDís. All for of the discs have at least good sonics. Even though this is a 90ís PCM recording Membrans mastering did a wonderful job of avoiding the digital nasties.

I didnít know the pieces on this disc so I canít comment on the interpretation or the performance relative to other recordings. Taking the disc for what it is (a budget SACD) I consider this disc an exceptional value.

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Works: 3  

Edward Elgar - In the South (Alassio), Concert Overture, Op. 50
Edward Elgar - Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 in G major, Op. 39 No. 4
Edward Elgar - Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 "Enigma"