In the 2015 / 2016 season, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra celebrates a proud 125-year history of bringing the best in classical music performances to audiences right across Scotland and beyond. Marking its recording relationship with the Orchestra, Chandos has compiled a two-disc set (at the price of one CD) of the finest of thirty years of recordings that have shaped the reputation of the Orchestra as well as the label. The RSNO has amassed a tremendous discography on Chandos over the years, including great recording series devoted to works by Dvorak, Elgar, and Prokofiev. Now on SACD, its releases continue to receive high praise.
This new release from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales presents Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations and George Chadwick’s Symphonic Sketches. George Chadwick and Edward Elgar lived almost parallel lives on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Born in rural Massachusetts in 1854, Chadwick was Elgar’s senior by three years. Elgar, born in Worcester in 1857, was to become everything Chadwick aspired to be yet wasn’t. Successful and respected as an academic, Chadwick was appointed director of Boston’s New England Conservatory in 1897. Whilst he helped establish the NEC as a major international conservatory, it was recognition as a great composer that he sought most. Elgar, on the other hand, maintained a lifelong suspicion of academics and yet rose to become one of the most venerated composers of his era.