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Edward Elgar: Symphony No. 3, Op. 88 (elaborated A. Payne)
I. Allegro molto maestoso
II. Scherzo: Allegretto
III. Adagio solenne
“How thrillingly urgent Elgar's unforgettably gaunt introductory bars sound here – a magnificent launch-pad for an interpretation of unswerving dedication, plentiful character and intelligence. Audibly galvanised by Paul Daniel's direction, the Bournemouth orchestra responds with infectious eagerness, polish and, most important, all the freshness of new discovery. In these newcomers' hands there's a rhythmic snap and athletic drive about the mighty opening movement that exhilarate. Where Davis perhaps scores over Daniel is in the spiritual, 'inner' dimension he brings to those ineffably beautiful bars at the start of the development section. Come the succeeding Allegretto, and Daniel's approach is more urgent, less evocative. The anguished slow movement welds a penetrating textural and harmonic clarity to a noble strength that's very moving. Best of all is the finale, which now emerges in a rather less piecemeal fashion than it does under Davis. Particularly good is the dark swagger that Daniel locates in both the nobilmente paragraphs, while the closing bars are magical, the final soft tam-tam stroke disappearing into the ether like some vast unanswered question. The sound is excellent in every respect. Another jewel in the Naxos crown, not to be missed.”