eMusic Review 0
Along with the Cello Concerto, this work travels the globe representing this great English composer. It's an affectionate and wonderfully varied series of portraits of Elgar's friends and acquaintances, all woven around the Original Theme, subtitled "Enigma." (Doctoral theses have been devoted to unwrapping the riddle.) I attended this performance and it was one of those perfect evenings: a great orchestra clearly enjoying itself in the company of a conductor it likes and respects — and playing music that is in its blood. Davis brings both wit and great tenderness to the portraits and the speeds are beautifully judged; "Nimrod" has been turned into a dirge too often, but Davis unfolds it at a flowing speed that actually makes it more intense. The LSO are as marvellous in the fast, cascading "E.D.U" as in the tender moments of "Nimrod." In many ways, the Enigma Variations are a glimpse at a time long gone, of charm and civility, but in so many more, they're timeless.