Pinchas Zukerman & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra : Vaughn Williams & Elgar: The Lark Ascending; Tails Fantasia; Introduction & Allegro; In Moonlight


96kHz/24-bit, FLAC; Decca 478 9386 (supplied by

As the promo video suggests, with two mics right under his nose it’s unsurprising that Pinchas Zukerman’s Lark Ascending remake at Cadogan Hall quite lacks the necessary sense of distance. (He was introduced to the work by Daniel Barenboim in 1973.) However, Elgar himself must take the blame for acceding to recycling the sublime viola passage from In The South as ‘In Moonlight’ (here set for viola/orchestra)… Of the other three longer works, the Tallis Fantasia is really impressive, but Elgar’s Serenade For Strings and Introduction & Allegro prove somewhat ‘in yer face’ and a strain for the listener. Zukerman also directs the Chanson De Matin/Chanson De Nuit duo and Salut D’Amour and these light pieces come off well enough. In all, his Decca debut programme is rather a ‘curate’s egg’. CB

Sound Quality: 75%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

The close-miked recording of Elgar’s Introduction & Allegro is certainly a native 96kHz rendering and while the mics may be over-stretched, there’s no sign of digital limiting. Note the ~20kHz interference spike, however. PM