Monday, 15 February 2010

Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto Op. 85 (1919)

I must confess that I have never been an enthusiast of the ubiquitous Jaqueline Du Pré recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto –great as it is. I first heard it played by Tortellier and have heard subsequent performances by a number of other cellists – great and less so.
However my favourite version is the very old 1928 recording with Beatrice Harrison and the New Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer. Reasons for this preference will be the subject of a future post. For the moment, all I will say is that for me the balance and passion of this music are completely balanced: both Elgar and Harrison make a perfect partnership. In spite of the relatively poor quality of the sound, this is a wonderful and legendary recording.

First Movement Adagio
Second Movement Allegro molto
Third Movement Adagio
Fourth Movement Allegro

Edward Elgar, Cello concert in E minor op.85 (I) - Adagio. Beatrice Harrison, cello. New Symphony Orchestra - Edward Elgar. Recorded in 1928 in Kingsway Hall, London. HMV D1507-9 (3 records).

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