1899, 1904, 2007, Music

Elgar: Enigma Variations; In the South; Serenade (2007) by Andrew Davis, Philharmonia Orchestra

The so-called “Enigma Variations” are disappointing if only because one thinks that maybe they will be weird (or at least mysterious). They are not weird. They are tuneful and crowd-pleasing. “In the South” is one of those weird things that composers write where it feels like there should have been more (and they acknowledge that in classifying such pieces). But anyway, it feels a little slight. And finally the Serenade is again something that feels perhaps exception because it comes from England, but is paled by most contemporary efforts of great continental composers. I remain very underwhelmed by Mr. Elgar.

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