This is a wonderfully passionate recording of the concerto that has rightfully become as closely associated with Jacqueline Dupre as with the composer himself. I don't want to go into detail - just listen and drink it all in. I was lucky enough to hear Jacqueline play this piece live (in Manchester with the Halle in 1970), and this recording is every bit as moving.
But, truth be told, my main reason for buying the CD was the Enigma Variations. On reading the score I discovered an ad lib organ part that fortifies the texture of the orchestra for a substantial part of the final variation. The recording I had (Andre Previn with the Royal Philharmonic) ad libbed it out. I tried to research which recordings had the organ ad libbed in, but couldn't find any indication anywhere on the Web. But, I thought, I have a recording of Barenboim with the London Phil playing Elgar's Cockaigne, and he certainly uses an organ in that recording, therefore...... and thus I discovered this wonderful CD.
The Enigma Variations is given a very fine performance, more satisfying in several ways than in the Previn recording, not least because the brass is a little more prominent and bright (full disclosure: I'm a trumpet player). Oh, and the timpani in the Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage quote are played - as tradition demands - with coins, not with the snare-drum sticks Elgar requests in the score. The result is a very very effective evocation of ships' engines.
I'm giving this recording 5 stars because of the Enigma and the Cello Concerto. The CD also features the two most well-known of the Pomp and Circumstance marches. No. 4 is perfectly fine, but Barenboim gives No. 1 a very strange interpretation. He takes the march part at about a million miles per hour, and it sounds - to my ears, anyway - trivial and silly at that speed. It's even faster than a circus-march screamer. The mind boggles.