Search catalogue


Elgar - Symphony No.1

Composer Sir Edward Elgar
Performer Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Sakari Oramo, conductor
Catalogue Number BIS-1939 SACD
EAN 7318599919393
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Jun 2014
Total time 67'17


“What a stunningly beautiful performance this is! …Run, don’t walk, to your nearest CD outlet!” Fanfare, “Ravishing BIS sound. Never, but never, have these pieces sounded this good. ...a performance which is outstanding all the way through. ...excellent and highly enjoyable accounts and certainly offer a bracing alternative to the leading competitors. Since the performances are superbly played and recorded I don’t think anyone who invests in this disc will be disappointed.”

It was during the winter of 1900–01 that Elgar began to sketch what he hoped would turn into a symphony – his first. But the sketches were quickly absorbed into several shorter pieces, one of which was the Cockaigne overture. Although composed in the rural area of the Malvern Hills, the work is nevertheless an unashamedly populist portrait of ‘old London town’, complete with references to whistling errand boys and a marching band – the composer himself described the music as ‘cheerful and Londony’. As for the First Symphony, seven years would pass before its première in Manchester and subsequent London performance – a triumphant occasion, as described by Elgar’s publisher: ‘After the first movement E.E. was called out; again, several times, after the third… people stood up and even on their seats to get a view.’ For Elgar, the success must have come as an immense relief - the symphony is hugely ambitious in scale and scope, but also seems to have had a personal significance to the composer, who summarized it as follows: ‘There is no programme beyond a wide experience of human life, with a great charity (love) & a massive hope in the future.’ Conducting this all-Elgar programme is Sakari Oramo, the Finnish conductor who has been all but adopted by English music-lovers and orchestras – for ten years he was music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and since 2013 he holds the post as chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Playing here, however, as on the acclaimed 2013 release of Elgar’s Second Symphony, is his ‘Swedish orchestra’, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. But lovers of Elgar’s music can rest assured: in the words of the reviewer on the British web site ‘there is no need to be concerned that a Finnish conductor and a Swedish orchestra do not “get” Elgar’s music. They do – with power, passion, compassion and authority…’
Choose format
  Sir Edward Elgar
  Symphony No.1 in A flat major, Op.55 (1908) 51'58
01 I. Andante. Nobilmente e semplice – Allegro 19'24
02 II. Allegro molto – 8'15
03 III. Adagio 11'55
04 IV. Lento – Allegro 12'24
05 Cockaigne (In London Town), overture, Op.40 (1901) 14'11
  Album total 67'17
ComposerElgar, Sir Edward
OrchestraRoyal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
ConductorOramo, Sakari

© BIS Records AB | | Phone +46 (0)8 544 102-30 BIS online store - Terms and Conditions