"...an outstanding disc"
The Pengiun Guide – 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12
In many ways Richard Hickox provides the best of all worlds, ensuring that Elgar’s climaxes emerge with thrilling power while the more withdrawn passages possess an almost Barbirolli-like rapture. Fascinating bonuses too, with Payne’s realization of a sixth pomp and Circumstance March and his orchestration of ‘So many true princesses…’
Elgar completists will need to acquire the disc for the other tracks too…
And the interpretation comes into its own from there: [scherzo] the Adagio solenne is achingly intense, and the finale has ample swagger as well as a powerful feeling of tragic foreboding.
I don’t think that anyone would be disappointed with any of the recordings, and this disc certainly complements Hickox’s versions of the first two symphonies in fine style. What may tip the balance for some listeners is the fact that this is the only disc to include extra music… Queen Alexandra’s Memorial Ode is a miniature masterpiece.
The Elgar Journal
This disc not only completes Richard Hickox’s Elgar cycle but also provides a fourth recording of the Third Symphony in Anthony Payne’s ‘elaboration’. Indeed, it collates all three of Payne’s Elgar realisations – including recorded debuts of the 1932 memorial ode for Queen Alexandria and the Pomp and Circumstance March No. 6…in terms of recording, then new disc (with a succinct and informative note by Anthony Burton) is a clear winner, the SACD sound having a depth and spaciousness that does justice to Payne’s Elgarian sound-world.
International Record Review
I’m more favourably inclined towards this magnificent SACD release because it seems to lay out its typical Elgarian indirectness in a more logical and easily discerned way – a rhetorical exposition that Sir John Barbirolli might have fashioned were he still among us… A splendid SACD hybrid recording is a most valuable addition to this Elgar discography. No serious Elgarian should even think of passing it by.
American Record Guide