Elgar: Symphony No. 1

Elgar: Symphony No. 1

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Onyx 2015

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Elgar: Symphony No. 1

Vasily Petrenko is recognised as one the leading Elgarians of our time and his interpretations of the two completed symphonies with the RLPO have earned praise worldwide from public and critics alike. This CD is the first in a series for ONYX that will contain both symphonies and the other major orchestral works, plus some of the delightful miniatures. Here, the First Symphony is preceded by the sparkling concert overture ‘Cockaigne’ from 1901, composed at a time when the symphony was preoccupying the composer and he was toying with the idea of a work based on the life of General Gordon of Khartoum. This project was abandoned, and the First Symphony was composed in 1907-8 and premiered to great acclaim with over 100 performances in its first year.


Symphony No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 55

Cockaigne Overture, Op. 40 ‘In London Town’


“Petrenko demonstrates that you don’t have to be English to take on the English master…He exerts a natural pliability on the phrasing…the RLPO plays with clarity of texture, a fullness and glow of tone, well-honed emotion and springy muscle together with a marked appreciation of Elgar’s thoroughly personal palette of orchestral timbres.” The Telegraph, 17th February 2015 ****

“The Symphony No 1…is given both monumental weight and graced with individual playing of character and loveliness, the woodwind particularly splendid.” The Independent on Sunday, 15th February 2015

“Performance takes on an urgent narrative as Vasily Petrenko brings his own brand of Russian authority to the music.” Financial Times, 21st February 2015

“The Royal Liverpudlians have this music in their blood, of course, but they respond to Petrenko’s youthful impetus…with playing of the highest order…This outstanding disc opens with a rollicking account of Cockaigne, one of the wittiest I know.” Sunday Times, 8th March 2015

“Petrenko injects the two Elgar works on this recording with passion and energy, aided by some dynamic playing from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and a bright, compelling recording quality from the engineers.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2015

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