Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85, his last notable work, is a cornerstone of the solo cello repertoire. Elgar composed it in the aftermath of the First World War, when his music had already gone out of fashion with the concert-going public. In contrast with Elgar's earlier Violin Concerto, which is lyrical and passionate, the Cello Concerto is for the most part contemplative and elegiac.
The first performance was a debacle because Elgar and the performers had been deprived of adequate rehearsal time. The work did not achieve wide popularity until the 1960s, when a recording by Jacqueline du Pré caught the public imagination and became a classical best-seller. Elgar made two recordings of the work with Beatrice Harrison as soloist. Since then, leading cellists from Pablo Casals onward have performed the work in concert and in the studio.
Performances & Interviews
- Elgar: Cello Concertohttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01s9351.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01s9351.jpg2014-05-01T11:29:00.000ZStephen Johnson and the BBCSO explore Elgar's Cello Concerto.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01y9wkk
Elgar: Cello ConcertoStephen Johnson and the BBCSO explore Elgar's Cello Concerto.
- Elgar: Cello Concertohttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p021nv41.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p021nv41.jpg2014-06-21T08:00:00.000ZHelen Wallace compares recordings of Elgar’s cello concerto and makes a recommendation.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p021nv5d
Elgar: Cello ConcertoHelen Wallace compares recordings of Elgar’s cello concerto and makes a recommendation.
- Chord of the Week - Elgar's Cello Concertohttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p025pvnp.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p025pvnp.jpg2014-08-30T18:58:00.000ZDavid Owen Norris explores a sorrowful chord from Elgar's Cello Concero.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p025pvp8
Chord of the Week - Elgar's Cello ConcertoDavid Owen Norris explores a sorrowful chord from Elgar's Cello Concero.
- Elgar's Cello Concertohttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05smlv4.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05smlv4.jpg2015-08-28T18:00:00.000Z4 Extra Debut. Cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, Michael Kennedy and Tim Dinsley reflect on the special impact of Elgar's piece of music. From November 2000.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b0075z8x
Elgar's Cello Concerto4 Extra Debut. Cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, Michael Kennedy and Tim Dinsley reflect on the special impact of Elgar's piece of music. From November 2000.