C1131. EDWARD ELGAR Cond.London S.O.: Symphony #2 in E-flat, recorded 1927; w.Henry Ainley (recitation): Carillon – recorded 29 Jan., 1915 (both Cond. by the Composer ). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-073. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Elgar's biographer Basil Maine commented, ‘When Sir Arthur Sullivan died in 1900 it became apparent to many that Elgar, although a composer of another build, was his true successor as first musician of the land’. Elgar was knighted at Buckingham Palace on 5 July 1904. Between 1902 and 1914, Elgar was, in Kennedy's words, at the zenith of popularity. He made four visits to the U.S., including one conducting tour, and earned considerable fees from the performance of his music.
From 1926 onwards, Elgar made a series of recordings of his own works. Elgar, described by the music writer Robert Philip as ‘the first composer to take the gramophone seriously’, had already recorded much of his music by the early acoustic-recording process for HMV from 1914 onwards, but the introduction of electrical microphones in 1925 transformed the gramophone from a novelty into a realistic medium for reproducing orchestral and choral music. Elgar was the first composer to take full advantage of this technological advance. Fred Gaisberg of HMV, who produced Elgar's recordings, set up a series of sessions to capture on disc the composer's interpretations of his major orchestral works, including the ENIGMA VARIATIONS, FALSTAFF, the first and second symphonies, and the cello and violin concerti.”
“Each of these disks, from Canadian engineer Yves St Laurent… [feature] St Laurent's natural transfer – made without filtering, like all his dubbings – it is easy to listen to, despite the surface noise.”
- Tully Potter, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011