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My favorite recording of the Elgar "Enigma Variations" (December 8, 2011)

What is your favorite recording of the Elgar "Enigma Variations"?

(Asked in the RMCR group)

Solti/Chicago -- the London/Decca recording, and the live broadcast I taped off the air back in 1979 and have since released into the wilds of the 'net. Solti's (both the LP and the broadcast cassette) was my imprint version, having heard him and the CSO do it in 1979. I still love it.

I remember being intrigued to hear the work in the first place after reading an interview with Solti. He said something like, "When I die, I want to be buried with the scores of Beethoven's 9th Symphony in one hand and Elgar's Enigma Variations in the other." At the time, in my late 'teens, I was OBSESSED with Beethoven and nothing more than the 9th, and I was a fan of the CSO, my hometown orchestra, and Solti, so I figured I should get to know this mysterious-sounding "Enigma Variations."

Dave Royko

December 8, 2011

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