Elgar: Civic Fanfare (1927 version,, Suite from the Spanish Lady, Civic Fanfare (undated version), Organ Sonata No.1 (orch G Jacob), Civic Fanfare (1933 version), Severn Suite
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Martin Yates
Dutton CDLX 7363 @ £13.75 + P&P
About this CD …. This disc contains four works that have evolved from Elgar’s original versions. The two works wholly from Elgar’s pen are the Severn Suite, commissioned for the 1930 National Brass Band Championships, which Elgar arranged for orchestra the following year; and Civic Fanfare, commissioned for the 1927 Three Choirs Festival. Perhaps best known for its unusual orchestration and convoluted history, recent research has shown the fanfare’s oral history to be substantially wide of the mark. This disc contains all three versions handed down to us, which allow the keen-eared to appreciate how Elgar developed the work in the six weeks from commission to first performance. The Organ Sonata, written for a convention of American organists visiting Worcester in 1895, was orchestrated by Gordon Jacob in 1946, and in this form brings out the full splendour of Elgar’s original. But the real discovery is Martin Yates’s symphonic suite on themes from Elgar’s unfinished opera The Spanish Lady. Who knows how Elgar may have reworked the sketches and fragments he had assembled for the opera by his death; but one can only hope it would have been as Elgarian as the work Yates presents us with here.