Author Topic: Elgar's Hillside  (Read 363323 times)

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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3480 on: September 22, 2022, 07:09:42 AM »
+1 for the Maggini Quartet/Donohoe.  I purchased that one a number of years ago and am happy that I followed someone's recommendation.  :)

PD

The CD came out in 1997 when I has getting into Elgar obsessively after having discovered him in December 1996. I remember seeing the disc listed online on Naxos' website and bought it immediately after release from "Akateeminen Kirjakauppa" (the name translates: academic bookstore) in the Helsinki center which had good selection of Naxos CDs back then.
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3481 on: September 22, 2022, 07:48:02 AM »
The CD came out in 1997 when I has getting into Elgar obsessively after having discovered him in December 1996. I remember seeing the disc listed online on Naxos' website and bought it immediately after release from "Akateeminen Kirjakauppa" (the name translates: academic bookstore) in the Helsinki center which had good selection of Naxos CDs back then.

Scary to think that is already a quarter of a century ago!!

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3482 on: September 22, 2022, 09:02:03 AM »
Scary to think that is already a quarter of a century ago!!

For me the scary part is how much worse the World is today. Another 25 years and this World in completely ruined!  :o
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Offline relm1

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3483 on: September 22, 2022, 03:43:24 PM »
For me the scary part is how much worse the World is today. Another 25 years and this World in completely ruined!  :o

Some might say that but that's very debatable.  I'm not an optimist but evidence is generally positive over time.  Global poverty is decreasing, health is generally improving, life span increases, etc.  Yes, there is climate change, Putin's war, idiots in office.  But these are becoming more of the outliers as time goes on.  World becomes more extreme generally but over time, the trend is towards progress and inclusion though the trajectory is very bumpy. 

Offline The new erato

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3484 on: September 22, 2022, 09:44:35 PM »
I'm currently in Alassio where Elgar liked to spend some time.

Offline Irons

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3485 on: September 22, 2022, 11:57:23 PM »
I'm currently in Alassio where Elgar liked to spend some time.

Named one of his best pieces after it too.
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Offline relm1

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3486 on: September 23, 2022, 05:31:55 AM »
I'm currently in Alassio where Elgar liked to spend some time.

Show a picture.  Based on the music I assume the place is dramatic!

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3487 on: September 24, 2022, 04:37:13 AM »
About The Spirit of England:

I listened to Cahill/Gibson to Lott/Hickox again and compared them. One thing I realised is that Cahill/Gibson is very slow with the first and third movements while the second movement has very similar tempi to Lott/Hickox. Also, Lott/Hickox has very good consistent balance between the orchestra, chorus and soprano which I like a lot. I also like the strong low frequencies on the recording. In Cahill/Gibson soprano is more present and the whole perfomance feels more dynamic, but the slower tempi keeps the energy level the same.

So, the performances have clear differencies, but to me both are very good. I have to say I prefer Lott/Hickox with small margin. It was the first performance I heard and it just sounds very "Elgarian" to me. My third performance of this work is on Somm label. I remember nothing....
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3488 on: September 24, 2022, 07:24:23 AM »
About The Spirit of England:

I listened to Cahill/Gibson to Lott/Hickox again and compared them. One thing I realised is that Cahill/Gibson is very slow with the first and third movements while the second movement has very similar tempi to Lott/Hickox. Also, Lott/Hickox has very good consistent balance between the orchestra, chorus and soprano which I like a lot. I also like the strong low frequencies on the recording. In Cahill/Gibson soprano is more present and the whole perfomance feels more dynamic, but the slower tempi keeps the energy level the same.

So, the performances have clear differencies, but to me both are very good. I have to say I prefer Lott/Hickox with small margin. It was the first performance I heard and it just sounds very "Elgarian" to me.

Nice. I like both as well.
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3489 on: September 24, 2022, 08:10:51 AM »
Today I listened to the Somm performance (Judith Howarth/John Wilson) and it is clearly weaker than the other two I have. Ugly bad sonic balance and the soprano sounds like she is trying to break glassware with her voice.  :-\
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3490 on: September 24, 2022, 09:21:24 AM »
Today I listened to the Somm performance (Judith Howarth/John Wilson) and it is clearly weaker than the other two I have. Ugly bad sonic balance and the soprano sounds like she is trying to break glassware with her voice.  :-\

I agree - its a lesser version - I like your description of the soprano!  The sonics are better on the recent(ish) Chandos version but I simply cannot accept the tenor part as viable even though Elgar sanctioned it (same with Lloyd-Jones too)

Offline Elgarian Redux

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3491 on: September 24, 2022, 09:44:31 AM »
About The Spirit of England:

I listened to Cahill/Gibson to Lott/Hickox again and compared them. One thing I realised is that Cahill/Gibson is very slow with the first and third movements while the second movement has very similar tempi to Lott/Hickox. Also, Lott/Hickox has very good consistent balance between the orchestra, chorus and soprano which I like a lot. I also like the strong low frequencies on the recording. In Cahill/Gibson soprano is more present and the whole perfomance feels more dynamic, but the slower tempi keeps the energy level the same.

So, the performances have clear differencies, but to me both are very good. I have to say I prefer Lott/Hickox with small margin. It was the first performance I heard and it just sounds very "Elgarian" to me. My third performance of this work is on Somm label. I remember nothing....

Seems fair enough to me. I would certainly admit that my preference for Cahill/Gibson is based on a response that's purely subjective: for me, Cahill imbues the whole piece with meaning. I feel as if she 'understands' what Elgar's vision of 'the Spirit of England' means, and she soars at times that lift me out of myself and leave me with goosebumps. Lott is fine, but I don't get the goosebumps. I can believe that others do.

This is not a defensible critique, of course: but I don't think there's anything to defend. I can't help my response to a recording of a piece of music that seems to strike at the core of my being. I can only report how it is for me, as we swap opinions. I could never claim to have a technical understanding of any performance of a piece of music. I'm incapable of that.

The really important thing is that people are listening to The Spirit of England, regardless of which recording it may be.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2022, 09:47:17 AM by Elgarian Redux »

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3492 on: September 27, 2022, 05:42:16 AM »

I can't help my response to a recording of a piece of music that seems to strike at the core of my being. I can only report how it is for me, as we swap opinions. I could never claim to have a technical understanding of any performance of a piece of music. I'm incapable of that.


Such comments encourage me greatly. Whereas I am certain that you have a greater musical understanding and capacity for analysis that I, it is always good to read others who able to enjoy their music in a similar way that I do. Thank you for the unintended lift!
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Offline Elgarian Redux

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Re: Elgar's Hillside
« Reply #3493 on: September 27, 2022, 11:27:24 AM »
Whereas I am certain that you have a greater musical understanding and capacity for analysis that I, it is always good to read others who able to enjoy their music in a similar way that I do.

That's a nice thing to say - thank you.

However, I seriously doubt that my musical understanding and analytical capacity are any greater than yours. It seems unlikely. This is not false modesty. I don't claim to understand Elgar's music, truly I don't. I'm just deeply moved by it, and I can't help that.

Of course we can talk about all sorts of stuff - like picking out the Windflower themes in the violin concerto, and what they might mean (I like thinking about that). But even then, the things I might say are more likely to be about Elgar the man, than about the actual music; and nothing I might say about the Windflower business would involve more than merely noticing that the same little tune is popping up in different places.

Always nice to swap views with a kindred spirit. Cheers.