Elgar Cello Concerto
Elgar's Cello Concerto was composed in the shadow of World War 1. It was a piece that marked a profound shift in Elgar's outlook on life and music, and was his last major work before a long silence caused by the death of his wife Alice. It is a piece of remarkable passion for a composer like Elgar, and never fails to move the audience with its combination of grief, melancholy, nostalgia, rage, but also tenderness. Elgar as a composer had been passed by with the invention of atonality and with composers like Stravinsky and Schoenberg pushing the boundaries of where music could go. Elgar stubbornly stayed true to his Romantic impulses, but the concerto also displays some of the inescapable influence of those composers. It is one of the most powerful pieces of the 20th century, but one of the reasons we know the piece so well is an unforgettable recording made in 1965 by Jacqueline Du Pre. It is very unusual for a piece to be so associated with a single performer, but Du Pre truly made the Elgar a standard concerto for the cello and it is now a piece that every cellist makes a part of their repertoire. We'll talk about all this and more during the show today - join us!