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Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, January 2017

This is not the greatest Elgar First out there, but it is very good and more cohesive than the Mackerras. The top British orchestras are more sumptuous than Santa Cecilia, particularly in the strings, but the Italian ensemble sounds good in a way that gives Elgar’s very British symphony a subtle Italian accent.

This is one case where a coupling work makes a disc worth buying, and I say that without decrying the symphony performance in any way. The sound is excellent, and the notes do their job. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Huntley Dent
Fanfare, January 2017

Pappano’s reading unleashes more energy and uncomplicated exuberance than in the symphony, making In the South a highlight of the recording.

I can enthusiastically recommend Pappano’s new version, which on all counts belongs in the top tier of modern recordings. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Jim Svejda
Fanfare, January 2017

While splendidly straightforward, Pappano’s approach to both works also allows ample room for that essential Elgarian rubato, together with mounds of finely observed detail. In the symphony’s opening movement, for instance, much of the delicate woodwind filigree sounds particularly Italianate; at other times, Pappano seems to emphasize the orchestration’s obvious debt to Richard Strauss…

The performance of In the South is no less exceptional: swaggering, full-throated, remarkably confident and precise, especially considering that as in the symphony, this is a live performance. Those who haven’t been collecting Pappano’s earlier recordings with the group will be astonished to hear what a spectacularly fine ensemble the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia clearly is. The recorded sound is rich and true, with the audience understandably listening it rapt silence. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Gwyn Parry-Jones
MusicWeb International, September 2016

An Italian orchestra, an Anglo-Italian conductor and an Elgar symphony—what an inspired combination!

…this performance has massive drive and passion, echoing Elgar’s own words at first hearing the piece—“…the thing goes with tremendous energy and life”. Quite so! © 2016 Musicweb International




Colin Anderson
Classicalsource.com, September 2016

What comes across most of all is how much love Pappano has for Elgar’s music; not that he smothers it but rather he identifies totally with it, inside and out, a passionate involvement. He may have had Elgar by his side when studying the score but he has found his own way—and overall he takes fifty-five minutes to the composer’s forty-seven.

What we get from Pappano is intense and vibrant, epic in many ways. …Pappano’s tempo is daringly spacious, remarkably well sustained and not a second too long, and when the quiet interior of the music is reached, well, words fail me—in the best possible way…sheer wonderment. © 2016 Classicalsource.com Read complete review





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