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During the period 1901-1940 a total of 198 cello
concertos were identified, of which 60 (30%) have been recorded and 138
appear to be unrecorded. There was a clear increase in the number of
compositions towards the end of the period and 1923 is the last year (in
all timelines) for which it was not possible to identify a single new concerto.
Elgar’s concerto is much the best known and most recorded work of the
period but there are many other worthwhile recorded works, as shown by
the recommendations below. Amongst the unrecorded works, I would be most
interested in being able to hear Moór’s first concerto, Grädener’s two
(his two violin concertos have been recorded by Toccata), Murrill’s
first and the works by Bortkiewicz, Diamond and Lennox Berkeley.
Atterberg Late romanticism at its best, as delivered by
Bridge A very fine work of which
Steven Isserlis is a compelling exponent, and he has also recorded it for
Bürger A major discovery very well played by
Maya Beiser. The heart-rending slow movement was written in memory
of the composer’s mother who died at the hands of the Nazis.
Unfortunately this is only available as a physical CD.
Delius Not as well-known as his violin concerto, this is still fine Delius and I find
Raphael Wallfisch very convincing.
Jacqueline du Pré’s performance with Barbirolli remains at the top
of the pile for me but there are other ways of playing the work and
Robert Cohen’s first recording is very satisfying.
Pablo Casals with Boult in 1945 would be my historical choice.
Foulds A composer whose music is well-worthy
of its 21st century revival, and another
Foerster A relatively brief and mellow work,
Jirí Bárta is completely inside this music.