Elgar's Cello Concerto: a work torn between nostalgia for the past and fear of the future

4 April 2018, 16:04

By Lizzie Davis

We spoke to cellist Leonard Elschenbroich ahead of his performance of the great work at Classic FM Live

Elgar wrote his famous concerto for cello and orchestra in 1919 while staying in a cottage in Sussex. Just the year before, in the same cottage, he'd been able to hear the thunder of artillery from across the Channel in France during the First World War.

It's no surprise that Elgar felt unsure about what the future held while writing the work.

"Within the music is the melancholy that he has for a time when it was appropriate to write this sort of music," says cellist Leonard Elschenbroich, who performed the work at Classic FM Live this week.

See all the pictures from an unforgettable Classic FM Live >

"I think in the music there's this thing, given it was written just after the First World War, of being very torn between the world before and the fear of what the world will now be.

Tune in to Classic FM tonight to hear the unforgettable Classic FM Live: Best of British concert from the Royal Albert Hall.