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Daniel Barenboim - Elgar Sym #1 / New York Times review

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Daniel Barenboim's recording of Elgar's Second Symphony may have made my best-of list in 2014, but the First suits his conducting even more. His sense of architecture is imperious, hiding moments that surprise, even disconcert: Take the little snaps of arrogance in the scherzo, or the way the harp-blessed beauty at the finale's core blushes as it arrives, as if trying to remember how to be grand. Yet Mr. Barenboim never lets you forget that Elgar's was a world riven with unease, just like Mahler's: Rhythms that aren't quite drilled are often forced to attention; the first movement is deliberately choppy; even the triumphant coda seems shy. Let's hope that these forces have "The Dream of Gerontius" in their sights. 

Daniel Barenboim's Elgar: Symphony No. 1 - Staatskapelle Berlin; Daniel Barenboim, conductor (Decca). REVIEW BY DAVID ALLEN SEE THE New York Times PAGE