For the premiere of Edward Elgar’s atmospheric Sea Pictures, conducted by the composer, the legendary contralto Clara Butt dressed as a mermaid, which may have been just a bit over the top. Within the month, she performed the piece for none other than Victoria at Balmoral. Well over a century on, the soulful British mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly gets to cast the oceanic spell. Antonio Pappano conducts. —M.G.
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