"The reason to acquire this disc is not necessarily for the music of Elgar and Vaughan Williams, but rather to experience the brilliant playing of the Kansas City Symphony under the inspired baton of its music director, Michael Stern...The big ticket item on the disc is of course, Elgar’s Enigma Variations and here, Stern and his great orchestra deliver a thrilling and thoroughly idiomatic performance that can stand toe-to-toe with those of the best British orchestras and conductors...This is a truly great Enigma, one to stand alongside those of Boult, Barbirolli, Haitink, and Monteux.
"As we have come to expect for this label, the recorded sound is absolutely breathtaking. Detail after delectable detail emerges with an astonishing clarity. The perspective is very much “inside” the orchestra, an almost 3D-like imaging as if the listener is sitting in the first row of woodwinds. The bass drum and organ pedal are especially well captured; stunningly clear (not just a boom or a rumble), natural and well balanced, yet they still have enough “wow factor” to satisfy any audiophile. Whether you love this music or you’re just looking for a demonstration disc to give your system a thorough workout, or both, Michael Stern, his splendid orchestra, and Reference Recordings do not disappoint." — Merlin Patterson, Fanfare Magazine
Labels: Elgar and Vaughan Williams, Fanfare Magazine, Kansas City Symphony, Review