Elgar’s Cello Concerto.

  Edward Elgar

  • Cello Concerto and other works.

The Elgar Cello Concerto, Op. 85, has long been one of my favorite compositions for cello. On this CD, we hear Paul Watkins as the cello soloist in a recording that showcases some of Elgar’s most popular works: Elgar:

  • Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85, with Paul Watkins (cello)
  • Introduction & Allegro for strings, Op. 47
  • Elegy for strings, Op. 58

Performed by the BBC Philharmonic, Sir Andrew Davis conducting. Elgar studied the violin from a young age, and he wrote for the strings of the orchestra with a special understanding of string instruments. The Cello Concerto in E minor, written in 1918 – 19, was the last major work that Elgar completed. Its mood is often described as ‘autumnal’, and highly reflective of the ageing composer’s own state of mind. Paul Watkins writes of his experience of recording this work: ‘It is a privilege to have the opportunity to add my voice to the many different interpretations of this iconic work. I prepared for this recording by using my experience as a conductor: in other words, to study Elgar’s masterful score as deeply as possible, and to realize how intimately the solo cello is linked to the orchestra throughout. In this respect I feel fortunate to have been working with Sir Andrew Davis. He is the most natural and intelligent interpreter of Elgar I know.’ Mr. Watkins’ playing is soulful and sensitive, and the BBC Philharmonic, under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, definitely provides fine support for the great music. Watkins joined the Emerson String Quartet in the 2013-14 season, replacing the departing cellist David Finckel. He was previously a cellist with the Nash Ensemble, with whom he has made several commercial recordings Following the concerto on this recording is the ‘Introduction and Allegro’, Op. 47. The melodies are sweeping and fresh, with the strings taking the lead. Following is the Elegy, Op. 58, and it is just start to finish beautiful music. At this point, the disc atmosphere changes, and it is time for `Pomp and Circumstance’, Op. 39. While this is somewhat out of character compared to the other compositions on this CD, I have always enjoyed well – played March music, and this is delightful! I was unable to locate a video of Paul Watkins in the Elgar concerto, so here is Alisa Weilerstein in Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor Op, 85, the first movement:   http://youtu.be/qadcyt7RUsk   And next, here is Cello Concerto by Cyril Scott. Performed by Paul Watkins, and conducted by Martyn Brabbins with the BBC Philharmonic. (Audio only)   http://youtu.be/ZyLPwDSA1Qc   Tags: Paul Watkins, Edward Elgar, Cello Concerto, Pomp and Circumstance, Elegy for Strings