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Classical

Elgar: Viola Concerto. Bloch: Suite for Viola and Orchestra

Viola Concerto. Bloch: Suite for Viola and Orchestra
  • Music
  • by Elgar | Apr 25, 2023
Elgar: Viola Concerto. Bloch: Suite for Viola and Orchestra
  • Music
  • Sonics
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Edward Elgar wrote his last major work, the Cello Concerto, in the dispirited, gray mood of post-World War One England in 1919, and nearly a decade since the demise of the glorious Edwardian age, for which he essentially wrote the soundtrack. Not surprisingly, the work is magnificently dark, but also tinged with moments of playful nostalgia. The score was reworked as a viola concerto, in 1929, by the great British violist Lionel Tertis, with the composer’s blessing. It is a remarkably successful arrangement, which is primarily due to the ability of the instrument to mimic the sound of the sung human voice. Of course, this effect is entirely dependent on the skill of the soloist, and Timothy Ridout is simply stunning, playing with a nimble, lyrical expressiveness that lends an improvisatory flow to the music. That virtuosity is even more on display in the suite that Swiss born composer Ernest Bloch wrote just about the same time that Elgar was composing his Cello Concerto. This colorful, even playful work, inspired by Asian melodic patterns, is brilliantly brought off by Ridout and his BBC colleagues. The recording is vividly lifelike. In all, a very exciting release.

Tags: CLASSICAL MUSIC

By Peter Burwasser

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