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Sir Georg Solti


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Elgar: Symphony No.2 in E flat
London Philharmonic Orchestra (16 March 1975, Royal Festival Hall)
Elgar: Variations on an Original Theme for orchestra, Op. 36 ("Enigma")
London Philharmonic Orchestra (20 October 1979, Royal Festival Hall)

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This performance of Elgar’s Enigma Variations forms an historic account of the first concert Sir Georg Solti conducted as Chief conductor of the LPO in 1979. It is also the first DVD release with Solti performing Elgar’s Symphony No.2. Solti, who prepared new works by listening to Elgar’s own recordings, identified closely with his music. The virtuoso playing of the orchestra combined with his fresh, energetic approach make for an exciting, uplifting experience.

The ICA Classics Legacy series presents a collection of historic performances by some of the world’s greatest artists. These performances are released on DVD for the first time, incorporating rare archive footage that has been expertly and lovingly restored.

ICAD 5011

EDWARD ELGAR 1857–1934


        Symphony No.2 in E flat major, op.63*

1      I      Allegro vivace e nobilmente 16.33

2      II     Larghetto 14.03

3      III   Rondo: Presto 8.14

4      IV   Moderato e maestoso 13.30


        Directed by Peter Butler

        Produced by Brian Large

        Recorded: Royal Festival Hall, London, 13 February 1975

        Broadcast: Music on Two, 16 March 1975

        © BBC 1975


        Variations on an Original Theme, op.36 ‘Enigma’

5      Theme: Andante 2.27

6      Variation I (C.A.E.) L’istesso tempo 2.06

7      Variation II (H.D.S-P.) Allegro 0.44

8      Variation III (R.B.T.) Allegretto 1.29

9      Variation IV (W.M.B.) Allegro di molto 0.33

10    Variation V (R.P.A.) Moderato 2.01

11    Variation VI (Ysobel) Andantino 1.23

12    Variation VII (Troyte) Presto 0.56

13    Variation VIII (W.N.) Allegretto 1.53

14    Variation IX (Nimrod) Adagio 3.41

15    Variation X (Dorabella) Intermezzo: Allegretto 2.42

16    Variation XI (G.R.S.) Allegro di 0.56

17    Variation XII (B.G.N.) Andante 2.42

18    Variation XIII (***) Romanza: Moderato 2.35

19    Variation XIV (E.D.U.) Finale: Allegro — Presto 5.19


        Directed by Rodney Greenberg

        Recorded: Royal Festival Hall, London, 25 September 1979

        Broadcast: BBC2 In Performance, 20 October 1979

        © BBC 1979


        London Philharmonic Orchestra

        Leader: Rodney Friend*


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Martin Kendrick

“Solti’s Symphony No. 2 is a magnificent achievement. I compared it to Sir Adrian Boult’s 1944 recording with the BBC Symphony, and found that while Boult is at times more tender, Solti is more vigorous and colourful … His management of the strings is worthy of Sir John Barbirolli. The movement’s quiet middle section is ravishingly lyrical - nothing sounds metronomic. This gives the lie to the notion that Solti was just a loud conductor.”


    Martin Kendrick

    “ICA Classics’ enterprising restoration of two performances is especially valuable for what is surely Solti’s most successful reading of the Enigma Variations. This finds the maestro on infinitely more involving form than on either of his commercial recordings. “Nimrod” in particular is paced to flowing perfection, while the explosive virtuosity of “WMB”, “Troyte” and “GRS” is most satisfyingly counterbalanced by the fragant poetry and winsome delicacy of “Ysobel”, “WN” and “Dorabella”. The performance of the Second Symphony is, quite simply, a document to treasure, with the LPO galvanised to thrilling effect by Solti’s prodigiously energetic presence on the podium... a conductor who is clearly in love with the music... The epilogue is profoundly moving in its valedictory radiance and burnished glow. Most rewarding—and a genuine tonic to boot!”

    Gramophone Magazine

      Martin Kendrick

      “Solti's LPO Elgar remains fresh, the passionate vigour of his Second Symphony balanced by one of the most loving Enigma Variations on disc.”

      BBC Music Magazine

        Martin Kendrick

        “ICA have done well - and valiantly – to show us what all the fuss was about with Solti’s LPO Elgar in the 1970s... This is a very welcome chance to find out what all the fuss was about with Solti’s headlong passionate Elgar.”

        MusicWeb International

          Martin Kendrick

          “Grateful thanks are due to ICA Classics for their enterprise in making these performances available after so many years... given the intensity of the music making to be seen and heard on this DVD. Elgarians are in for a treat.”

          Elgar Society Journal

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