CD RELEASE: WALTON & ELGAR CELLO CONCERTOS | STEVEN ISSERLIS & THE PHILHARMONIA / HYPERION:
Steven Isserlis made a fine, fierce recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto with the LSO 18 years ago; this new version, with the Philharmonia and conductor Paavo Järvi, is fiercer still – older, wiser and even more convincing. 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 …
He – and Paavo Järvi – steer a course between the astringent dynamism of Elgar’s own reading, tender intimacy and the grand passion of Jacqueline du Pré. Ensemble is hand-in-glove, wind solos eloquent. The scherzo has plenty of attack, the Adagio is almost unbearably poignant while Isserlis’s finale explodes into life with a bristling humour and rhythmic vitality all-too rare. [BBC Music Magazine]
He is also blessed in having such a scrupulously attentive partner as Paavo Järvi, who procures playing of the very highest quality from the Philharmonia.