Solti Conducts Elgar
While I have appreciated the music of Mozart, Brahms, Mahler, and others for 60 years or so, I am a latecomer to enjoying Elgar’s music. I have done posts on Elgar’s Cello concerto and Violin concert, both of which rate among my favorites. However, one of my great admirations is Elgar’s Enigma Variations, recorded here by the Chicago Symphony under the late Sir Georg Solti.
My sense is that Elgar was a master orchestral composer. In these variations he takes a rather simple theme and develops it into a set of 14 wonderfully varied music. This music ranges from the serious, to the whimsical, joyful, and quiet moods. One of my favorites is the so-called “Nimrod” variation number 9. Within that music is a great range of moods that ends in great sadness. I remember a concert by the Chicago Symphony in Carnegie Hall, conducted by Daniel Barenboim. They began their concert with the Nimrod, as a memorial to their former conductor, Solti, who had died at that time.
As a bonus on this CD, we also get Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance Marches 1-5; Marches are always great fun to listen to, and these form a nice contrast against the Enigma Variations.
To hear samples, or to purchase, go to: