Elgar, Walton - Cello Concertos | Hyperion CDA68077

Elgar, Walton - Cello Concertos


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Label: Hyperion

Cat No: CDA68077

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 26th February 2016



Sir Edward Elgar’s sublime Cello Concerto receives an impassioned new performance from Steven Isserlis, the Philharmonia Orchestra and Paavo Järvi. With additional works by Sir William Walton and Gustav Holst, as well as a miniature suite for solo cello by Imogen Holst, this is unquestionably one of the year’s most eagerly awaited releases.

1-4. Elgar - Cello Concerto in E minor, op.85
5. Gustav Holst - Invocation
6-8. Walton - Cello Concerto
9. Imogen Holst - The Fall of the Leaf


Elgar: Tempi throughout are uniformly well judged. The first movement ideally combines suppleness and purpose, leading into a quicksilver scherzo that eschews any suggestion of hectic flashiness. To the glorious slow movement Isserlis and Järvi bring an unexaggerated depth of feeling, tenderness of expression and simple flow [...]

The Walton concerto likewise finds these sympathetic artists at the top of their game. [...] After a sultry and intoxicatingly poised opening movement, the central scherzo fairly crackles with wit and ear-pricking detail (how good it is, for instance, to have those harmonic overtones register so subtly in the soloist’s brief col legno passage just before the end). [...] As for the ambitious finale, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it essayed with a greater combination of stylish teamwork, sinewy thrust and inevitability (both cadenzas, by the way, are riveting).
Gramophone March 2016
Steven Isserlis made a fine, fierce recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto with the LSO 18 years ago; this new version, with the Philharmonia and conductor Paavo Järvi, is fiercer still – older, wiser and even more convincing. Isserlis’s cello rages against the dying of the light, sounding angry yet still beautiful, and under Järvi the orchestra is full-bodied but focused. The slow movement is impatient and impassioned, and when this music returns towards the very end it leaves a terrible unanswered question hanging. Holst’s little-known Invocation – the composer in romantic yet beatific mode – lightens things before an eloquent, mercurial performance of the Walton Concerto from Isserlis, with the orchestra offering colourful support.  Erica Jeal
The Guardian 4 March 2016
It's no surprise, perhaps, that Steven isserlis's latest recording of the Elgar concerto should be special: this is a long-loved, lived-in interpretation in which every superfluity has been scoured away leaving only an extraordinarily pure line of expression. Helen Wallace
BBC Music Magazine March 2016
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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