LANSDOWNE

SYMPHONY

ORCHESTRA

Elgar Cello Concerto Program Notes

By  the  time  he  wrote  his  cello  concerto  in  1919,  Edward  Elgar  was  a  celebrated  (and  knighted)  composer  in  his  native  England.  His  works  included  several  of  the  Pomp  and  Circumstance  marches,  a  violin  concerto  commissioned  by  Fritz  Kreisler,  the  oratorio  The  Dream  of  Gerontius,  and  two  symphonies.    His  Enigma  Variations  were  twenty  years  old.  During  the  years  of  the  First  World  War,  Elgar’s  health  had  deteriorated,  and  his  wife,  Alice,  had  moved  them  to  the  country.    He  continued  to  compose,  writing  some  beautiful,  and  somewhat  autumnal,  works.  The  inception  of  the  Cello  Concerto  is  a  curious  one:  following  surgery  for  a  throat  ailment,  and  while  coming  out  of  anesthesia,  Elgar  requested  pencil  and  paper,  and  sketched  the  first  theme  of  this  concerto.    Although  the  first  performance,  by  theLondon  Symphony  Orchestra,  went  poorly,  the  concerto  has  since  become  a  favorite  of  cello  soloists  and  audiences  across  the  world.  

Born: June 2, 1857, Broadheath, United Kingdom
Died: February 23, 1934, Worcester, United Kingdom