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Proms 2017 - Staatskapelle has few peers among European bands today / theguardian

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Both of the Staatskapelle's concerts were a reminder that it has few peers among European bands today. The Elgar symphonies – the First preceded by Sibelius's Violin Concerto, with Lisa Batiashvili as the fabulously agile, intense soloist, the Second following the Birtwistle – were played with immense authority, and as much stylistic confidence as these players would bring to Wagner or Strauss. Barenboim's return to Elgar, to works that he began conducting early in his career on the podium, when he recorded all of the major orchestral scores for the first time, seems to have been inspired by working with the Berlin orchestra. Much more than most of his British contemporaries, Elgar has always seemed a thoroughly European composer, whose stylistic roots delve so deeply into the Austro-German tradition, and hearing his music played by an orchestra at the very heart of that tradition reinforces those affiliations.

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