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Edward William Elgar (1857-1934)

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Elgar & Walton: Cello Concertos

Elgar & Walton: Cello Concertos


Elgar:

Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85

Philharmonia Orchestra, Paavo Järvi

Holst:

Invocation

Philharmonia Orchestra, Paavo Järvi

Holst, I:

The Fall of the Leaf

Walton:

Cello Concerto

Philharmonia Orchestra, Paavo Järvi


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here, and watch Chris O'Reilly's exclusive video-interview with Steven Isserlis here.

Sir Edward Elgar’s sublime Cello Concerto receives an impassioned new performance from Steven Isserlis, the Philharmonia Orchestra and Paavo Järvi. With additional works by Sir William Walton and Gustav Holst, as well as a miniature suite for solo cello by Imogen Holst, this is unquestionably one of the year’s most eagerly awaited releases.

“This mesmerising meditation couldn't be in better hands” BBC Music Magazine, March 2016

“Isserlis’s playing of the solo part in the Elgar evokes an elegy for a lost world, while he captures perfectly the bittersweet languor of the Walton.” Sunday Times, 28th February 2016

“older, wiser and even more convincing [than his first recording of the Elgar]...Isserlis’s cello rages against the dying of the light, sounding angry yet still beautiful, and under Järvi the orchestra is full-bodied but focused.” The Guardian, 3rd March 2016

“So, how much has he re-thought the work during the past 25 years? The answer is not dramatically, but everything evolves a little with time, and there is definitely more musical conviction to the phrasing and general direction in the new recording - giving each movement (and indeed the whole work) a tighter and much more defined structure.” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, 19th February 2016

“With his immaculate technical address and ravishingly songful, mellow tone, Isserlis strikes precisely the right balance between classical strength and private introspection, his contribution as full of radiant spontaneity and tumbling fantasy as one could wish...An unmissable release.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2016

“Isserlis gives a deeply touching account, the sort that restores faith in a too-often-performed work, here reclaimed as the masterpiece that it is, personal and private, yes, but outgoing in a consoling way without negating buoyancy or go-getting...There is universal appeal to this reading, thankfully without the mawkishness or exaggeration that some interpreters impose upon it.” classicalsource.com

“no praise can be too high for Isserlis’s splendid playing, eloquent without being indulgent and technically always in complete command.” MusicWeb International, April 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

19th February 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - March 2016

BBC Music Magazine

Instrumental Choice - March 2016

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Hyperion - CDA68077

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Elgar - Cathedral Music

Elgar - Cathedral Music


Elgar:

Ave verum corpus, Op. 2 No. 1

Ave Maria, Op. 2 No. 2

Ave maris stella, Op. 2 No. 3

Angelus

I Sing the Birth

Lo! Christ the Lord is Born

Great is the Lord (Psalm XLVIII), Op. 67

Ecce Sacerdos Magnus

O Salutaris Hostia

Fear Not, O Land

O hearken Thou, Op. 64

Give unto the Lord (Psalm XXIX), Op. 74


Worcester Cathedral Choir, Adrian Partington (organ), Donald Hunt

“A collection of Elgar's sacred choral music, including familiar pieces such as Give unto the Lord, Ave verum corpus, and Great is the Lord, as well as some more obscure offerings, all given expert performances by the choir of Worcester Cathedral under Donald Hunt.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, May 2014

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Elgar: Enigma Variations

Elgar: Enigma Variations

& other orchestral works


Elgar:

In the South (Alassio), Op. 50

Enigma Variations, Op. 36

Carillon, Op. 75

Florence Daguerre de Hureaux (narrator)

Une Voix dans le Désert

Kate Royal (soprano)

Le Drapeau Belge

Florence Daguerre de Hureaux (narrator)

Pleading, Op. 48 No. 1

Yann Ghiro (clarinet)


Two much-loved orchestral favourites representing the summit of Elgar's maturity are coupled with three of the lesser-known wartime works, here receiving their rst recordings with the original French texts. Kate Royal is the soprano soloist in 'Une voix dans le désert', a hauntingly tender masterpiece which every Elgarian should know.

“Both [In the South and the Enigma Variations] are well known and given impressively emotional and dramatic performances by Brabbins...The entire disc is a collector’s item.” Sunday Times, 30th October 2016

“fine, firmly unsentimental, bracingly muscular performances.” The Guardian, 3rd November 2016 ****

“Exceptional Elgar. ‘Nimrod’ has the grandeur of a Bruckner slow movement.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2016 *****

“Brabbins masterminds an expansive, ideally flexible and notably unflustered reading of Elgar’s In the South, one which quarries this evocative score’s plentiful reserves of noble grandeur, pantheistic wonder and vulnerability…[he] proves a comparably unhurried, affectionate and cannily observant guide through Enigma, the friends pictured within springing to life with unforced naturalness…an enjoyable and stimulating anthology that Elgarians everywhere should try and hear” Gramophone Magazine, November 2016

“Splendidly performed and recorded versions of Enigma and In the South, plus some fascinating rarities.” MusicWeb International, 1st December 2016

“Every work is recreated with penetrating musicianship and skilled empowerment from the podium. Every performance is of superlative calibre” Classical Ear, January 2017 *****

“Brabbins’ Enigma is a delight: tempi and tone perfectly judged, a feeling of freshness throughout which is lacking from a number of high-profile recent accounts” Classical Music, January 2017 *****

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - December 2016

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Elgar: Enigma Variations & Organ Sonata

Elgar: Enigma Variations & Organ Sonata


Elgar:

Organ Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 28

Enigma Variations, Op. 36

transcribed for organ by Keith John


Keith John (organ)

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Elgar - Great is the Lord

Elgar - Great is the Lord


Elgar:

Great is the Lord (Psalm XLVIII), Op. 67

They are at rest

Queen Alexandra Memorial Ode

Ave Maria, Op. 2 No. 2

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me (from The Apostles)

Te Deum laudamus, Op. 34, No. 1

Benedictus, Op. 34 No. 2

O Salutaris Hostia

Ave verum corpus, Op. 2 No. 1

Ecce Sacerdos Magnus

O hearken Thou, Op. 64

Give unto the Lord (Psalm XXIX), Op. 74


“…the Westminster Abbey Choir delivers its organ-accompanied programme with beautiful tonal colour and blend.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2007 ****

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Elgar: Piano Quintet & String Quartet

Elgar: Piano Quintet & String Quartet


Elgar:

String Quartet in E minor, Op. 83

Goldner String Quartet

Mina

Piers Lane (piano)

Laura Valse

Piers Lane (piano)

Impromptu

Piers Lane (piano)

March in D major

Piers Lane (piano)

Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 84

Piers Lane (piano)

Goldner String Quartet


Inspired by the rural beauty of the surroundings at his country retreat in 1917, Edward Elgar embarked on the composition of some of his most inspired and imaginative chamber works.

Both the String Quartet and the Piano Quintet are works of great depth and elegance. Their conservative style disregards the compositional trends of the time and displays an unabashed late-romanticism. Elgar wrote: ‘It is full of golden sounds and I like it. But you must not expect anything violently chromatic or cubist.’

The disc features sumptuous playing from the acclaimed Goldner String Quartet, who are joined by pianist Piers Lane for Elgar’s sublime Piano Quintet, a large-scale work of almost orchestral sonority.

These masterpieces are accompanied by four previously unrecorded works for solo piano, the last of which was written by Elgar at the age of 72. They are intimate, charming rarities, superbly performed by Lane.

“The quintet is given real stature in this very fine recording, with the Goldners and Piers Lane revelling in the expansive themes of the opening moderato and the unashamedly romantic adagio. The Goldners bring the same emotional intensity to the febrile quartet with its shifting tonality and quirky rhythmic scheme, before Lane presents some fascinating miniatures” The Observer, 12th June 2011

“as this fine account by Piers Lane and the Goldner Quartet demonstrates, [the Piano Quintet is] full of highly expressive, authentically Elgarian tunes. The Goldners' account of the quartet is finely fluent, too, and in both works they resist the temptation to over-egg the climaxes.” The Guardian, 16th June 2011 ****

“Of his 1918 quartet, [Elgar] wrote: “I know it does not carry us further, but it is full of golden sounds and I like it.” The well-named Goldner Quartet capture those golden sounds — and the piece’s elegiac moods — in an exquisitely nuanced way. The Quintet, more extrovert despite its moving adagio, gets brilliant playing from Lane” Sunday Times, 3rd July 2011 ****

“The Goldner String Quartet judges the Elgar idiom persuasively, finding that blend of sensibility and muscularity, wistful meditation and optimistic motivation. The main works are the E minor String Quartet (1918) and the A minor Piano Quintet...both are played with distinction, and with a secure grasp of the give and take of pulse that is integral to Elgar’s music.” The Telegraph, 14th July 2011 ***

“The Quartet is delicately charming, with an exquisite Elgarian touch that the Goldners capture most sympathetically, without sentimentalising it. They also give an excellent performance with Piers Lane of the better known, much more dramatic Piano Quintet, tracing its mood swings seamlessly and handling the great Adagio with the unaffected restraint it deserves.” Financial Times, 23rd July 2011

“This is one of those rare discs that give pleasure and food for thought in equal measure...when [Elgar's chamber music] is played with the kind of understanding shown by these five musicians it leaves one wondering how anyone could miss the subtle variety, the elegant sophistication under the surface...The whole experience is a valuable reminder that Elgar doesn't display his originality openly.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2011 *****

“In the Elgar Piano Quintet, they make the most of the work's Brahmsian qualities balancing solidity with élan, tenderness with tension, delicacy with ferocity. The String Quartet is likewise treated with sensitivity, subtlety and great understanding of its tremulous, troubled nature. Lane gives an affectionate account of the little piano pieces.” Classic FM Magazine, September 2011 *****

“No beating about the bush: the Goldners give the most sublimely articulate and raptly communicative reading of Elgar's elusive String Quartet that it's been my privilege to encounter. It's not just their fabulous technical address and scrupulous adherence to the text that are so impressive...but the recreative ardour, tumbling fantasy and sinewy strength they bring to this marvellous score make it seem as though the ink is barely dry on the manuscript” Gramophone Magazine, October 2011

“A wonderfully warm recording of the String Quartet by the Goldner Quartet. They are joined by pianist Piers Lane for a sensitive performance of the under-rated Piano Quintet.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, May 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2011

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - September 2011

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Elgar - Quintet and Violin Sonata

Elgar - Quintet and Violin Sonata


Elgar:

Violin Sonata in E minor, Op. 82

Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 84


Ian Brown (piano)

The Nash Ensemble

‘As ever the playing of The Nash Ensemble evinces consummate refinement and total dedication; their heartwarmingly eloquent reading communicates strongly … no true Elgarian could fail to derive considerable satisfaction from such effortlessly idiomatic music-making’ (Gramophone)

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All in the April Evening

All in the April Evening

Favourites from the repertoire of the Glasgow Orpheus Choirs


Bennet:

All creatures now are merry-minded

Byrd:

Ave verum corpus

Elgar:

My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land Op. 18 No. 3

As torrents in summer

Irvine, Jessie:

The Lord's My Shepherd (Crimond)

Morley:

Fyre! Fyre

Parry:

Never weather-beaten sail (No. 3 from Songs of Farewell)

Roberton:

All in the April evening

Stanford:

The Blue Bird, Op. 119 No. 3

Sullivan, A:

The long day closes

trad.:

The Banks o' Doon

An Eriskay Love Lilt

Dream Angus

The Wee Cooper o' Fife

Ca' the yowes

The Turtle Dove

O can ye sew cushions?

Wi' a hundred pipers

Drink to me only with thine eyes

All through the night

Vaughan Williams:

Full fathom five

The cloud-capp'd towers

Over hill, over dale

Warlock:

Corpus Christi


Laudibus, Michael Brewer

‘It’s a delightful disc … if there was a ‘Critics’ Fancy’ it would be there sure enough’ (Gramophone)

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Helios - CDH55243

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Bridge: Three Idylls, etc.

Bridge:

Three Idylls

Elgar:

String Quartet in E minor, Op. 83

Walton:

String Quartet in A Minor


“Eloquent and sensitive performances of some of the finest British chamber works of our century” BBC Music Magazine

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Casals Encores

Casals Encores


Boccherini:

Cello Sonata in A major, G4a: Allegro Moderato

Chopin:

Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 9 No. 2

arr. David Popper

Prelude Op. 28 No. 15 in D flat major ‘Raindrop'

arr. Pablo Casals

Debussy:

Petite Suite: Menuet

arr. Gaston Choisnel

Elgar:

Salut d'amour, Op. 12

Falla:

Nana (No. 5 from Siete canciones populares españolas)

arr. Maurice Maréchal

Fauré:

Après un rêve, Op. 7 No. 1

arr. Pablo Casals

Godard, B:

Berceuse from Jocelyn

Granados:

Danza española, Op. 37 No. 5 'Andaluza'

arr. Pablo Casals

Kreisler:

Chanson Louis XIII and Pavane (In the style of Couperin)

Lassen:

Thine Eyes So Blue

arr. Pablo Casals

MacDowell:

Romance for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 35

Popper:

La Chanson villageoise, Op. 62 No. 2

Mazurka in G minor, Op. 11 No. 3

Vito, Spanish Dance Op. 54/5

Saint-Saëns:

Le carnaval des animaux: Le Cygne

Allegro Appassionato in B minor Op. 43

Sgambati:

Serenata napoletana, Op. 24 No. 2

trad.:

The Song of the Birds

traditional, arr. Pablo Casals

Wagner:

O du, mein holder Abendstern (from Tannhäuser)

arr. Leo Schulz


Alban Gerhardt (cello) & Cecile Licad (piano)

This sensational new release from German cellist Alban Gerhardt recaptures the novelty of the much-loved encores performed by Pablo Casals. Spanish-born Casals was universally recognized as one of the world’s greatest cellists and had a vast repertoire of intimate encores which were adored by his audiences. The disc features transcriptions of works by many notable composers including Fauré, Chopin, Saint-Saëns, Boccherini and Wagner. Also featured are frequently performed musical gems by David Popper: Vito, Chanson villageoise and his Mazurka in G minor, pieces which have gained a special place in the cello literature.

Gerhardt performs these miniature masterworks with extraordinary finesse and verve. His very personal interpretations never lapse into self-indulgence and he projects a distinctive luminescence of tone with infallible intonation. Gerhardt is intelligently partnered and perfectly matched by pianist Cecile Licad on her Hyperion debut. This unique disc demonstrates sublime musicianship, with both performers revelling in a wide expressive scope from the vivacious to the lyrical.

“There is much more to an encore, as Alban Gerhardt will tell you, than casually capping a recital with an audience-pleaser...Listen to Gerhardt in Benjamin Godard’s Berceuse de Jocelyn and there is a paradigm of the exceptional eloquence and discernment that distinguishes the entire disc.” The Telegraph, 2nd June 2011 *****

“his playing [is] less heart-on-sleeve than Casals's own, but wonderfully eloquent and noble: he can be extraordinarily moving in such once-familiar standards as the Berceuse from Godard's Jocelyn, or in Casals's arrangement of Chopin's Raindrop Prelude...Some of this music makes considerable demands on the pianist, and Cecile Licad rises to its challenges with considerable elegance.” The Guardian, 9th June 2011 ****

“Gerhardt has a honeyed, liquid tone all his own. He has created a well-contrasted programme that clearly took a long time to research and hone...This is cello playing of exquisite sophistication and bold imagination. Casals, I feel sure, would have approved.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2011 *****

“An unexpected disc from a cellist one usually thinks of as a heavyweight...he brings to them absolutely the same seriousness of approach and sensitivity that he does to everything. And it works for an album that feels worthwhile as well as easily digestible.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2011

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - August 2011

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Hyperion - CDA67831

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