Barenboim wins a medal, Rattle wins the battle

Barenboim wins a medal, Rattle wins the battle


norman lebrecht

April 22, 2015

Daniel Barenboim was awarded the Elgar Medal at the Royal Festival Hall last night after performing the second symphony with the Staatskapelle Berlin.

He was heard wondering afterwards whether any other foreign orchestras dared to play Elgar in London.

Just so happens Simon Rattle has announced he is bringing the Vienna Philharmonic to perform Dream of Gerontius in Birmingham this September.UPDATE: And at the penultimate night of the BBC Proms.

Beat that.

elgar bus stop


  • DLowe says:

    Okay…failing to see your point here.

  • Lindsay Wallace says:

    It was a wonderful concert at the Festival Hall last night. Some of the best orchestral playing I’ve heard in over 35 years of concert going. And Barenboim’s Elgar 2 just seethed with passion & glowed with a deep understanding. Great stuff!

    Just for information – Andre Previn & the Los Angeles Phil toured Elgar 1 on their European tour in May 1987. They played the Elgar in Stuttgart, Madrid, Amsterdam – and at the Festival Hall!

  • Hilary says:

    The best version of Elgar 2 on the much cherished and respected ‘ building a library’ was deemed to be Barenboim’s recent one with the Berlin Staatskapelle. The reviewer was Richard Morrison.

  • Gaffney Feskoe says:

    I love the Elgar Second. I remember Sir Colin Davis performing it some years ago with the Boston Symphony in Boston. I do not think that the work was in the Orchestra’s repetory until then, but I could be wrong.

  • Tim Walton says:

    Rattle is not eligible for the Elgar as he is English. It is only awarded to Non English Conductors – The last I believe was Sakari Oramo.

  • David Wagner says:

    Good that “Dream” will get an airing in its home country by world-class forces. Meanwhile, bravo to Barenboim for all he has done for Elgar (tho’ my favorite recordings of the symphonies are Sinopoli’s).

    • Tim Walton says:

      Not just home Country.

      Should read home town.

      The World premiere was in Birmingham at the old Town Hall.

  • Mark says:

    I doubt Bernstein was ever in the running for the Elgar Award after his travesty conducting the Enigma Variations back in 1982 with BBCSO

  • susan bender says:

    Yuri Temirkanov performed Elgar in London more than once!

  • Stephen says:

    Was Sir Georg Solti ever awarded the Elgar Medal? He performed and recorded both symphonies, the violin concerto, “Enigma Variations”, “Pomp and Circumstance marches, “Falstaff” and “In the South”. There were plans for him to record “The Dream of Gerontius”, to be given first at the Edinburgh Festival then at the Proms, but it was decided transporting the choir would have been prohibitively expensive.