Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Elgar: Symphony No. 1 - James Judd
This is a gem of a recording that earned a Penguin Rosette and went under along with the record company. James Judd has a keen sense for the mood and subtlety of the score. If you love Elgar, grab it. If you are new to Elgar and are interested in learning more about his symphonies, I heartily recommend this recording and Vernon Handley's recording of Symphony No. 2 (which I posted in April 2009).
I think the cover here perfectly matches the mood of the First Symphony. The knight on the horse seems bold and troubled as he surveys the landscape ahead. His young son clings on for dear life; the daughter looks up to him for reassurance. The combination of boldness and concern, beauty and foreboding gives this symphony a fascinating edge. The opening movement and the finale I find particularly inspirational. You'll find some reviews on Amazon here (including mine, from which I lifted a few of the above words regarding the cover.)
Download here (no password):