Elgar Cello Concerto discography

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Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto received its first complete recording in 1928. A truncated version had been recorded under the composer's supervision, using the acoustic recording process, but it was not until the introduction of electrical recording in the mid-1920s that large orchestral works of this kind could be adequately put on disc. All the recordings up to 1965 were monaural. The first stereophonic recording, by Jacqueline du Pré, the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir John Barbirolli, has remained in the catalogues continuously since its first release, and is still used by many as a touchstone.[1] Several British cellists have recorded the work, but the majority of recordings are by European and American soloists.

Recordings by date[edit]

Soloist Orchestra Conductor Label Date
Beatrice Harrison London Symphony Orchestra Sir Edward Elgar HMV 1928
W H Squire Hallé Orchestra Sir Hamilton Harty Columbia 1930
Pablo Casals BBC Symphony Orchestra Sir Adrian Boult EMI 1945
Anthony Pini London Philharmonic Orchestra Eduard van Beinum Decca 1950
Paul Tortelier BBC Symphony Orchestra Sir Malcolm Sargent EMI 1954
André Navarra Hallé Orchestra Sir John Barbirolli Pye 1957
Mstislav Rostropovich Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra Natan Rakhlin Revelation 1958[2]
Mstislav Rostropovich Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra Gennadi Rozhdestvensky Russiandisc 1964[3]
Jacqueline du Pré London Symphony Orchestra Sir John Barbirolli EMI 1965
Pierre Fournier Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Alfred Wallenstein DG 1967
Jacqueline du Pré BBC Symphony Orchestra Sir John Barbirolli Testament 1967[4]
Jacqueline du Pré Philadelphia Orchestra Daniel Barenboim CBS 1970[5]
Paul Tortelier London Philharmonic Orchestra Sir Adrian Boult EMI 1973
Robert Cohen London Philharmonic Orchestra Norman Del Mar EMI 1980
Lynn Harrell Cleveland Orchestra Lorin Maazel Decca 1981
Heinrich Schiff Staatskapelle Dresden Sir Neville Marriner Philips 1985
Yo-Yo Ma London Symphony Orchestra André Previn Sony 1985
Julian Lloyd Webber Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Yehudi Menuhin Philips 1986
Ralph Kirshbaum Scottish National Orchestra Sir Alexander Gibson Chandos 1987
Felix Schmidt London Symphony Orchestra Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos Carlton Classics 1988
Steven Isserlis London Symphony Orchestra Richard Hickox Virgin 1988
Alexander Baillie BBC Philharmonic Sir Edward Downes Conifer Classics 1989
Mischa Maisky Philharmonia Orchestra Giuseppe Sinopoli DG 1990
Truls Mørk Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra Michel Tabachnik Lyrinx 1990
Robert Cohen Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Sir Charles Mackerras Argo 1991
Maria Kliegel Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Michael Halász Naxos 1992
János Starker Philharmonia Orchestra Leonard Slatkin RCA 1992
Torleif Thedéen Malmö Symphony Orchestra Lev Markiz BIS Records 1992
Arto Noras Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra Jukka-Pekka Saraste Finlandia 1994
Shauna Rolston Calgary Symphony Orchestra Mario Bernardi CBC Records 1995
Yoohong Lee Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Yehudi Menuhin Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 1995
Paul Tortelier Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Sir Charles Groves ASV 1998
Pieter Wispelwey Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Jac van Steen Channel Classics Records 1999
Truls Mørk City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Sir Simon Rattle Virgin 1999
Anne Gastinel City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Justin Brown Naïve 2004
Arto Noras Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra Jukka-Pekka Saraste WEA Apex 2006
Heinrich Schiff Hallé Orchestra Sir Mark Elder Hallé 2006
Natalie Clein Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Vernon Handley EMI 2007
Jamie Walton Philharmonia Orchestra Alexander Briger Signum 2008
Sol Gabetta Danish National Symphony Orchestra Mario Venzago RCA 2010
Paul Watkins BBC Philharmonic Sir Andrew Davis Chandos 2011
Antonio Meneses Northern Sinfonia Claudio Cruz Avie 2012
Alisa Weilerstein Staatskapelle Berlin Daniel Barenboim Decca 2012
Zuill Bailey Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Krzysztof Urbański Telarc 2013

Critical opinion[edit]

The BBC Radio 3 feature "Building a Library" has presented comparative reviews of all available versions of the concerto on three occasions, and recommended as follows:

  • 11 February 1984, reviewer, Michael Kennedy:
    • Jacqueline du Pré (1965)[6]
  • 27 April 1991, reviewer, Jerrold Northrop Moore:
    • Julian Lloyd Webber[7]
    • Steven Isserlis[8]
    • Beatrice Harrison[9]
    • Paul Tortelier (1998)[10]
  • 14 February 2004, reviewer, Richard Morrison:
    • Jacqueline du Pré (1965)[11]
    • Truls Mørk (1999)[12]
    • Yo-Yo Ma[13]

The Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music, 2008, gave its maximum four star rating to the 1965 du Pré/Barbirolli recording of the concerto. It awarded three stars (representing "an outstanding performance and recording") to the recordings by Casals, Gastinel, Harrell, Harrison, Isserlis, Ma, Mørk, Noras, Rostropovich (1964), Schiff (2006), Thedéen, and Tortelier (1973).[14]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ March, p. 424
  2. ^ Live recording, issued 1998
  3. ^ Live recording, issued 1994
  4. ^ Live recording, issued 2006
  5. ^ Live recording, issued 1976
  6. ^ Building a Library BBC Radio 3, accessed 24 October 2010
  7. ^ Building a Library BBC Radio 3, accessed 24 October 2010
  8. ^ Building a Library BBC Radio 3, accessed 24 October 2010
  9. ^ Building a Library BBC Radio 3, accessed 24 October 2010
  10. ^ Building a Library BBC Radio 3, accessed 24 October 2010
  11. ^ Building a Library BBC Radio 3, accessed 24 October 2010
  12. ^ Building a Library BBC Radio 3, accessed 24 October 2010
  13. ^ Building a Library BBC Radio 3, accessed 24 October 2010
  14. ^ March, pp. 424–26

References[edit]

  • March, Ivan (ed). The Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music 2008, Penguin Books, London, 2007. ISBN 978-0-14-103336-5