<< -- 3 -- Robert Anderson MR BEAN AND ELGAR
I can only rejoice that Hugh Bean was spared the quintet. The ways of genius are
passing strange; yet it remains incomprehensible how Elgar, with the makings of an
outstanding sandwich bounded by the quartet and then the cello concerto, should fill
it with the vulgarities of the piano quintet.
Not even a wardful of friends' smashed limbs could save the work. The slow movement
will always make its rueful point between a pair of movements that should have been
banished to the nearest Lyons Corner House
[listen -- CD2 track 2, 0:00-1:19]. Hugh Maguire leads the
Allegri Quartet and joins John Ogdon in a valiant attempt at redemption doomed to failure.
The piano music has a charming trifle in the Serenade and a piece of rather ponderous
virtuosity in the Concert Allegro that might well have made more sense if moulded ultimately
towards a concerto. As it stands, Elgar was wise not to publish it. Ogdon is unashamedly
grandiloquent where so bidden, and makes nonsense of any rumour that Elgar failed to
understand the piano, even if he did not like it
[listen -- CD2 track 8, 3:56-4:55].
Copyright © 18 August 2004
Robert Anderson, London UK
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Elgar - Violin Concerto - Chamber Music - Hugh Bean
5 85908 2 ADD Stereo COMPILATION (2 CDs) 74'36"/77'09" - TT 151'45" 1970, 1971, 1973, 1989, 1993, 1999, 2004 EMI Records Ltd
Hugh Bean, violin; David Parkhouse, piano; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Charles Groves, conductor; John Ogdon, piano; Allegri Quartet; Music Group of London
Edward Elgar (1857-1934): Violin Sonata in E minor Op 82; Violin Concerto in B minor Op 61; Piano Quintet in A minor Op 84; String Quartet in E minor Op 83; Serenade; Concert Allegro Op 46