GRAMMY award-winning Nicola Benedetti’s Elgar album is today No. 1 in the Official Classical Artist Chart following its physical release on Decca Classics on Friday 7 August.
The album explores music by Britain’s best loved composer, Edward Elgar. The centrepiece is his vast Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 61 coupled with three short works for violin and piano: Salut d’Amour, Sospiri and Chanson de Nuit.
Nicola Benedetti said, ‘I am so delighted to be No. 1 in the Official Classical Artist Chart with our Elgar album and am so thankful to each and every person for buying it and for sharing my love of this wonderful composer. The depth of admiration and fascination I have for this man and his music has made this entire process a dream. He was so out of the ordinary, from his non-traditional training to his understanding of people to his style of expression in music – there is only one Edward Elgar, and I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to record so much of his music.’
Elgar’s Violin Concerto is considered to be one of the most technically demanding violin concertos and is a marathon for the soloist at just under an hour in length. Premiered in 1910 by Fritz Kreizler, this concerto has a profound effect on those that give it the time it deserves. Benedetti performs the Violin Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
Pianist Petr Limonov joins Benedetti for three short works for violin and piano. The heartfelt adagio Sospiri was written in the lead up to WW1 and was originally intended as a companion piece to Salut d’Amour (Elgar’s first published work in 1888) but what emerged was a more intense piece. Both works were originally written for string orchestra but are performed here in the composer’s own arrangements for violin and piano alongside the charming Chanson de Nuit.