Elgar & Carter Cello Concertos

Elgar & Carter Cello Concertos

Alisa Weilerstein

Editor's Choice

Alisa Weilerstein's multiple-award-winning 2013 album is full of treats, and her thoughtful, sonorous interpretation of Kol Nidrei is worth an award all of its own. Weilerstein is known for her interest in Jewish music, but Bruch had almost no previous connection with Judaism before composing the work in 1880. It seems unlikely that a Protestant musician from Cologne would produce one of the most popular pieces of secular Jewish music while working in Liverpool. However, after meeting Berlin's cantor-in-chief Bruch became interested in Hebrew folk melodies and was inspired by two traditional tunes to compose 'Kol Nidrei'. The main events of this disc, though, are two concertos that show two very different sides of 20th Century cello music. Written roughly 80 years apart, Carter and Elgar's concertos' beginnings couldn't have been more different. Carter's seven-movement work was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Yo-Yo Ma in 2000, and plenty of careful work and planning went into its premiere. In contrast, Elgar's four-movement concerto was the culmination of almost 20 years of thoughts and intentions and premiered unsuccessfully in October 1919. Although his soloist was distinguished and capable, Elgar's new work was under-rehearsed - owing to the conductor's preference for focusing on his own compositions elsewhere in the programme - and it wasn't performed in public again for over a year. read more

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