Elgar, Bridge, Holst Cello Concertos
These three notable British works for cello and orchestra from the early 20th century - two of them, the Elgar and the Bridge, ranking among the finest for the medium ever written by British composers - are linked by various strands, both circumstantial and expressive. All were first heard at Queen’s Hall in London, and all in different ways treat the cello as in some way symbolic of the human voice: singing, lamenting, calling, making a passionate statement with deep personal significance.
"Bridge's masterly Oration was written in 1929/30: its ethos is a passionate outcry against the human slaughter of the First World War, which haunted the composer. The work is written in a single movement like an arch, with seven diverse episodes, and the solo cello dominating hauntingly throughout. The work is superbly played by Raphael Wallfisch, movingly accompanied by the RLPO, sensitively directed by Richard Dickins. The coupled Elgar and Holst performances are no less distinctive. The recording is spacious, richly realistic and ideally balanced and, with its enterprising couplings, this CD is very desirable indeed." The Penguin Guide