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More than 40 years after first recording it in London, Daniel Barenboim returns to Elgar’s Second Symphony with the Berlin Staatskapelle – the orchestra with which he and Alisa Weilerstein recently scored a huge success with the same composer’s Cello Concerto.
The conductor’s maturity has brought a more thoughtful and insightful Elgar, manifested here by his expansive treatment of the symphony’s intimate moods – very affecting in the darker passages of the opening movement, throughout the funeral march and at an unusually hushed ending.
The rumbustious music is delivered with tremendous panache, and the Berlin orchestra plays like an instrument of Barenboim’s – and Elgar’s – spirit.
Symphony No 2