Elgar & Bridge - Cello Concertos | Naxos 8574320

Elgar & Bridge - Cello Concertos

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Label: Naxos

Cat No: 8574320

Barcode: 0747313432073

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 26th November 2021



Gabriel Schwabe (cello)
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra


Christopher Ward


Bridge, Frank

Oration (Concerto elegiaco)

Elgar, Edward

Cello Concerto in E minor, op.85


Gabriel Schwabe (cello)
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra


Christopher Ward


These two masterpieces are shadowed by the events of the First World War. Elgar’s Cello Concerto, an intensely poignant, reflective and individual musical statement, has enjoyed unflagging popularity among musicians and listeners for over 100 years. By contrast, Frank Bridge’s Oration (Concerto elegiaco) remained unperformed for decades after its early hearings. Yet it shares spiritual affinities with Elgar’s work and serves as a funeral address of huge solemnity and narrative power in its outcry against the futility of war.

Gabriel Schwabe has established himself among the leading cellists of his generation. He is a laureate of numerous national and international competitions, including the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann and the Concours Rostropovich in Paris. In 2009 he won the prestigious Pierre Fournier Award in London. As a soloist, he has worked with orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlinthe Malmö and Norrköping Symphony Orchestras and Royal Northern Sinfonia with conductors including Marek Janowski, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Dennis Russell Davies, Cornelius Meister, Marc Soustrot, Lars Vogt and Michael Sanderling.

Gabriel Schwabe made his recording debut in 2015 performing Brahms’s Cello Sonatas, and six songs arranged for cello and piano, with pianist Nicholas Rimmer (8573489). Fanfare wrote that ‘Schwabe plays with a beautifully smooth and sweet tone. In addition, his intonation and finger-to-bow coordination are spot-on’, which led to Nordwestradio exclaiming that ‘even Brahms himself would like this [album].’

His Saint-Saëns - Works for Cello and Orchestra disc (8573737) was a Gramophone Choice: ‘[Schwabe] plays with a light heart and produces a light, airy tone to match, combined with a nonchalance and poise that I found most attractive.’

Schwabe’s latest Naxos releases include Brahms’s Double Concerto (8573772) with violinist Tianwa Yang; and Kodály and Ligeti’s Solo Cello Sonatas, as well as Kodály’s Duo for Violin and Cello performed with Hellen Weiß (8574202). The WholeNote exclaimed: ‘cellist Gabriel Schwabe is in simply superb form’.

Conductor Christopher Ward is currently general music director at Theater Aachen and Sinfonieorchester Aachen. In 2019 he conducted the world premiere of Jörg Widmann’s Babylon at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin. He has recorded the orchestral works of Hans Rott under the Capriccio label.

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