Although Elgar was a highly accomplished violinist, he wrote no mature string chamber music until, at the end of his creative life, he produced three major works: a violin sonata, a piano quintet and a string quartet. His creativity was incapacitated by the First World War: “I cannot do any real work with the awful shadow over us”, he wrote to his friend Sidney Colvin.
In the autumn of 1918, his spirits revived, that Elgar worked on the three new pieces, and also made sketches for his last major completed work, the Cello Concerto.
In 2019 English Symphony Orchestra were asked to give the official 100th Anniversary performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto. It was at that concert that Wallfisch met composer Donald Fraser, whose choral arrangement of Elgar’s Sea Pictures was being featured on the same concert. Raphael suggested that perhaps Donald arranged and orchestrate a few of Elgar’s shorter works for cello and strings, and over the following year the project expanded in scope to finally comprise the eleven-movement suite heard here. © Kenneth Woods
With a singular body of work spanning almost 60 years, David Matthews has established an international reputation as one of the leading symphonists of our time.
The outstanding British cellist, Raphael Wallfisch was born in 1953 into a family of distinguished musicians, his mother the cellist Anita Lasker Wallfisch, and his father the pianist Peter Wallfisch.
Widely recognised as the world’s most recorded cellist, his astonishing discography of more than eighty albums are on labels such as EMI, Chandos, Lyrita, Nimbus, CPO, ASV, Naxos and Dutton. Many of these highly acclaimed recordings are with his duo partner of more than thirty years, John York