Author Topic: Elgar's Hillside  (Read 289094 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3340 on: December 20, 2020, 01:30:42 AM »
As with VW, I like both Boult and Barbirolli in the Elgar symphonies. I've never owned the Boult Lyrita set on either LP or CD and am curious about that one. Barbirolli's 'Sospiri' is indeed very beautiful.
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3341 on: December 20, 2020, 03:05:29 AM »
Ah, but if Barbirolli’s Sospiri doesn’t melt your face, I don’t know what will! By the way, I have no problems with the fidelity of Barbirolli’s later Elgar recordings. There’s a certain spirit about these performances that I think sounds right to my ears. FWIW, I do love Boult in Elgar, too. I have no preference for one over the other. There are more ways to interpret Elgar.

Barbirolli's Sospiri is indeed great as a performance, but to my ears again there are "issues" with the sound. There's some midrange resonances and the recording could have more bass and less treble. Sospiri is relatively simple music (but utterly beautiful) and shouldn't be difficult to do well. I have a feeling Barbirolli is great in the simpler Elgar creating the "spirit" you mention while Boult is perhaps better in understanding Elgar's more complex works.
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Offline Irons

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3342 on: December 20, 2020, 07:16:11 AM »
As with VW, I like both Boult and Barbirolli in the Elgar symphonies. I've never owned the Boult Lyrita set on either LP or CD and am curious about that one. Barbirolli's 'Sospiri' is indeed very beautiful.

Legend has it that Richard Itter upset Boult by insisting that violins be configured left and right for both recordings. Boult, it is said, had a temper and as he didn't get his own way and this is reflected in the music with an added edge. I'm not sure, the Lyrita recordings are more immediate and very good, but for me, the late EMI recordings are special. Sir Adrian knew this was his last word on music being part of his being during a very long life, the wisdom of his interpretations are very special.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3343 on: December 20, 2020, 07:23:40 AM »
The one recording of Elgar that Barbirolli stands supreme is Falstaff.

I’m not sure if want to listen to this performance or Boult’s today as I do need to revisit Falstaff. I’ll probably listen to both! ;D
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3344 on: December 20, 2020, 07:44:11 AM »
Barbirolli's Sospiri is indeed great as a performance, but to my ears again there are "issues" with the sound. There's some midrange resonances and the recording could have more bass and less treble. Sospiri is relatively simple music (but utterly beautiful) and shouldn't be difficult to do well. I have a feeling Barbirolli is great in the simpler Elgar creating the "spirit" you mention while Boult is perhaps better in understanding Elgar's more complex works.

I have found the ‘simpler’ the music is, the harder it is to perform well. Barbirolli is great is all of the Elgar I’ve heard, so you can put away any of those preconceived notions you may have about his Elgar. Also, I have no issues with the fidelity of the recording. What I can barely listen to are those classical recordings from the early part of the 20th Century. Boult is no slouch in Elgar either, but I wouldn’t want to be choose between these two great Elgarians.
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3345 on: December 20, 2020, 07:46:31 AM »
As with VW, I like both Boult and Barbirolli in the Elgar symphonies. I've never owned the Boult Lyrita set on either LP or CD and am curious about that one. Barbirolli's 'Sospiri' is indeed very beautiful.

I liked the Boult recordings of the symphonies on Lyrita, but I still prefer the later recordings on EMI.
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline Biffo

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3346 on: December 20, 2020, 08:43:05 AM »
I liked the Boult recordings of the symphonies on Lyrita, but I still prefer the later recordings on EMI.

I probably have 'first recording' syndrome. I bought the Lyrita as LPs and for years they were the only recordings of the Elgar symphonies I owned and so listened to them numerous times. I later bought the Boult/EMI as part of a set of cassettes and greatly enjoyed them. For many years I haven't been able to play cassettes (though I still have them!) and it is only very recently I bought the CDs and re-aquainted myself. They are very fine performances, rather more opulent than the Lyrita; I am glad I have both.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3347 on: December 20, 2020, 11:23:39 AM »
I probably have 'first recording' syndrome. I bought the Lyrita as LPs and for years they were the only recordings of the Elgar symphonies I owned and so listened to them numerous times. I later bought the Boult/EMI as part of a set of cassettes and greatly enjoyed them. For many years I haven't been able to play cassettes (though I still have them!) and it is only very recently I bought the CDs and re-aquainted myself. They are very fine performances, rather more opulent than the Lyrita; I am glad I have both.

I just think there’s a specialness to those later Boult recordings that I can’t put into words other than to say they feel right to my ears.
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3348 on: December 21, 2020, 02:40:02 PM »
What a pile of horse shit this video is:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Ar3HqhHTsI0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Ar3HqhHTsI0</a>

And this one as well:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/pzs95_Qj9lk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/pzs95_Qj9lk</a>

Slatkin as the best overall 2nd symphony performance? Ummm...no. These two videos show Hurwitz has zero understanding of the composer and the complexities of his music.
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3349 on: December 21, 2020, 02:57:43 PM »
What a pile of horse shit this video is:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Ar3HqhHTsI0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Ar3HqhHTsI0</a>

And this one as well:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/pzs95_Qj9lk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/pzs95_Qj9lk</a>

Slatkin as the best overall 2nd symphony performance? Ummm...no. These two videos show Hurwitz has zero understanding of the composer and the complexities of his music.

Apparently Slatkin is a personal friend so Hurtwiz's view is "coloured".  But it is a good version no doubt.  But as ever he taints valid opinions with summary dismissals and gross generalisations.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3350 on: December 21, 2020, 03:06:24 PM »
Apparently Slatkin is a personal friend so Hurtwiz's view is "coloured".  But it is a good version no doubt.  But as ever he taints valid opinions with summary dismissals and gross generalisations.

Gotcha, now the Slatkin ass kissing makes sense.
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline Irons

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3351 on: December 21, 2020, 03:08:02 PM »
What a pile of horse shit this video is:



Don't hold back John - say what you really mean. :D

On a more serious note, I give the man some credit for including Elgar's as one of the greatest violin concertos of the 20th century. Also completely taken by surprise for his praise for the Hugh Bean/Charles Groves recording. Not that praise is not due, I love the recording, but hardly ever gets mentioned at all anywhere. 
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Irons

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3352 on: December 21, 2020, 03:11:07 PM »
Apparently Slatkin is a personal friend so Hurtwiz's view is "coloured".  But it is a good version no doubt.  But as ever he taints valid opinions with summary dismissals and gross generalisations.

He put Slatkin top of the RVW box pile too.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2020, 03:12:39 PM by Irons »
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3353 on: December 21, 2020, 03:12:15 PM »
Don't hold back John - say what you really mean. :D

On a more serious note, I give the man some credit for including Elgar's as one of the greatest violin concertos of the 20th century. Also completely taken by surprise for his praise for the Hugh Bean/Charles Groves recording. Not that praise is not due, I love the recording, but hardly ever gets mentioned at all anywhere.

:D

Yes, I do think Elgar’s VC is an outstanding work and I actually prefer it to his more popular Cello Concerto. I should revisit that Bean/Groves performance. I have it somewhere.
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline Irons

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3354 on: December 21, 2020, 03:14:58 PM »
:D

Yes, I do think Elgar’s VC is an outstanding work and I actually prefer it to his more popular Cello Concerto. I should revisit that Bean/Groves performance. I have it somewhere.

I listen to the VC more so I guess I do.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3355 on: December 21, 2020, 03:15:18 PM »
I just think there’s a specialness to those later Boult recordings that I can’t put into words other than to say they feel right to my ears.
Thanks John and Biffo for your thoughts on the Lyrita recordings.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3356 on: December 21, 2020, 03:18:12 PM »
Thanks John and Biffo for your thoughts on the Lyrita recordings.

 8)
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3357 on: December 22, 2020, 03:12:06 AM »
:D

Yes, I do think Elgar’s VC is an outstanding work and I actually prefer it to his more popular Cello Concerto. I should revisit that Bean/Groves performance. I have it somewhere.

The Bean/Groves has long been a favourite version of mine.  Likewise the great Campoli recording and the Albert Sammons (Bean's teacher) - all superb.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3358 on: December 22, 2020, 07:42:20 AM »
The Bean/Groves has long been a favourite version of mine.  Likewise the great Campoli recording and the Albert Sammons (Bean's teacher) - all superb.

Very nice. Have you heard the Little/Davis recording on Chandos? This is my current reference for this concerto, but I’m a big fan of Little’s playing in general. I think she does a good job of navigating the complicated emotional makeup of this work.
“Competitions are for horses, not artists.”


Offline 71 dB

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3359 on: December 22, 2020, 01:05:09 PM »
Very nice. Have you heard the Little/Davis recording on Chandos? This is my current reference for this concerto, but I’m a big fan of Little’s playing in general. I think she does a good job of navigating the complicated emotional makeup of this work.

I have both Bean/Groves* and Little/Davis, but somehow I haven't listened to them much. In fact I don't even remember having listened to these recordings! Weird. Both are relatively new purchases. That's one interesting thing to do in the near future: To compare these two and see if they make Dong-Suk Kang/Leaper** on Naxos sound "piss-poor" in comparison.  :P

* In the 30 CD EMI Elgar box.
** This was my first Elgar CD ever. I got it in Christmas 1996 as a present from my dad. I had heard Enigma Variations on radio a few weeks earlier and it had changed my life. The whole December 1996 I has talking about Elgar and how I must explore his music because Enigma Variations was just super-promising. I just knew Elgar is my favorite. So my dad got this for me for Christmas and it was such a wonderful way to dive into the music of Elgar! That's why the disc is special to me and it takes miracles to make me call it piss-poor.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page <-- NEW track "Yin Yang"