I look forward to learning your reactions to these works and the specific recordings in due course. I think you will be hooked by this music; the slow movement (Piacevole, poco andante) of the String Quartet is, I feel, one of Elgar's most wistful and haunting movements. (But of course Elgar's music is full of haunting and wistful moments.) Alice Elgar particularly loved this movement, which she described as "captured sunshine", and it was played at her funeral.
I haven't heard (Nigel) Kennedy's recording of the Violin Sonata. I'm in a minority, I suppose, in preferring the Perlman/Barenboim CSO recording of the Violin Concerto to the Kennedy/Handley LPO version (although in almost every other case I greatly prefer Handley's Elgar to that of Barenboim). For that matter, after initially resisting it, I've become more & more partial to Heifetz/Sargent. But while I'm on this subject--and wandering off-topic, I know--you absolutely must hear Campoli's recording of the Violin Concerto (with Boult conducting).
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