The Elgar Cello Concerto - 100th Anniversary Performance performed by Raphael Wallfisch

English Symphony Orchestra under Kenneth Woods mark the centenary of the composer’s final masterwork in Worcester Cathedral

Part of the Elgar Festival 2019

Add to my Calendar 01-06-2019 19:30 01-06-2019 21:30 36 The Elgar Cello Concerto - 100th Anniversary Performance performed by Raphael Wallfisch At the heart of this summer’s Elgar Festival is the composer’s evergreen Cello Concerto, performed by renowned soloist, Raphael Wallfisch and the English Symphony Orchestra, which is to be performed as part of a gala concert in Worcester Cathedral to mark the centenary of the composer’s final masterwork.Elgar’s Cello Concerto was conceived during the dark years of the First World War as the composer – then sixty - recuperated from a painful operation to have his tonsils removed.  It is sparse and concentrated, full of memorable themes – an Elgar hallmark – elegiac wistfulness and passionate outbursts; a haunting intimate dialogue which the soloist shares with the audience. “Every once in a while, we need to step back from a very popular work like the Cello Concerto and remind ourselves why it resonates so deeply with so many millions of listeners”, said Elgar Festival Artistic Director, Kenneth Woods.  “It took a number of years and distance from the Edwardian era and World War I to realise how powerfully evocative and nostalgic the music is.” “Elgar’s Cello Concerto was my pathway into the world of this great composer whose music has had such a profound influence on my life”, explained the conductor.  “From my first encounter with it as a young cellist in America, it cast a spell over me, and after all the times I’ve since played it, heard it and conducted it, its power and honesty continue to amaze me.”  During his final illness in 1933, Elgar hummed the concerto's theme to a friend and said, "If ever, after I'm dead, you hear someone whistling this tune on the Malvern Hills, don't be alarmed. It's only me." “To conduct the 100th Anniversary performance of this beloved work in Elgar’s hometown with Raphael, in the shadow of the Malvern Hills, whose profile helped inspire the work’s opening melody, is more than a dream come true,” added Kenneth Woods. For soloist Raphael Wallfisch, the concerto’s first performance has a personal connection, as he explains; “Elgar conducted the London Symphony Orchestra with the young British cellist Felix Salmond at the Queen’s Hall that October 1919.  The remainder of the programme was conducted by Albert Coates, who was in fact my wife’s grandfather.” The gala evening on Saturday 1st June, also sees a first-time collaboration between the English Symphony Orchestra and Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir, for Donald Fraser’s acclaimed choral arrangement of Elgar’s Sea Pictures.  Vaughan Williams's beautiful visionary 5th symphony completes this special programme. Find concerts taking place at the Elgar Festival on ClassicalEvents. Worcester Cathedral, Worcester DD/MM/YYYY

Details


8 College Yard
Worcester
Worcestershire
WR1 2LA
England


Tickets


Programme




Performers

– cello
– Conductor



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Programme Note

At the heart of this summer’s Elgar Festival is the composer’s evergreen Cello Concerto, performed by renowned soloist, Raphael Wallfisch and the English Symphony Orchestra, which is to be performed as part of a gala concert in Worcester Cathedral to mark the centenary of the composer’s final masterwork.

Elgar’s Cello Concerto was conceived during the dark years of the First World War as the composer – then sixty - recuperated from a painful operation to have his tonsils removed.  It is sparse and concentrated, full of memorable themes – an Elgar hallmark – elegiac wistfulness and passionate outbursts; a haunting intimate dialogue which the soloist shares with the audience.
 
“Every once in a while, we need to step back from a very popular work like the Cello Concerto and remind ourselves why it resonates so deeply with so many millions of listeners”, said Elgar Festival Artistic Director, Kenneth Woods.  “It took a number of years and distance from the Edwardian era and World War I to realise how powerfully evocative and nostalgic the music is.”
 
“Elgar’s Cello Concerto was my pathway into the world of this great composer whose music has had such a profound influence on my life”, explained the conductor.  “From my first encounter with it as a young cellist in America, it cast a spell over me, and after all the times I’ve since played it, heard it and conducted it, its power and honesty continue to amaze me.” 
 
During his final illness in 1933, Elgar hummed the concerto's theme to a friend and said, "If ever, after I'm dead, you hear someone whistling this tune on the Malvern Hills, don't be alarmed. It's only me."
 
“To conduct the 100th Anniversary performance of this beloved work in Elgar’s hometown with Raphael, in the shadow of the Malvern Hills, whose profile helped inspire the work’s opening melody, is more than a dream come true,” added Kenneth Woods.
 
For soloist Raphael Wallfisch, the concerto’s first performance has a personal connection, as he explains; “Elgar conducted the London Symphony Orchestra with the young British cellist Felix Salmond at the Queen’s Hall that October 1919.  The remainder of the programme was conducted by Albert Coates, who was in fact my wife’s grandfather.”
 
The gala evening on Saturday 1st June, also sees a first-time collaboration between the English Symphony Orchestra and Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir, for Donald Fraser’s acclaimed choral arrangement of Elgar’s Sea Pictures.  Vaughan Williams's beautiful visionary 5th symphony completes this special programme.

Find concerts taking place at the Elgar Festival on ClassicalEvents.


Cellist, Raphael Wallfisch (c.Benjamin Ealovega)

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