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The English Cello

English cellist Beatrice Harrison, 1924
English cellist Beatrice Harrison, 1924

Although the cello received the attention of composers like Antonio Vivaldi and Joseph Haydn in the 1700's, the instrument wasn't popularly utilized as a solo instrument in Great Britain until the Victorian age and later.

Cyril Scott was a master of musical miniatures, blending late Romanticism with hints of Impressionism. The extraordinary Pastoral and Reel was written for the British cellist Beatrice Harrison (PHOTO). Scott also wrote a full concerto for cello and orchestra for Mrs. Harrison.

George Dyson's Prelude, Fantasy and Chaconne was written for the 1936 Three Choirs Festival. It was originally conceived as a work for cello and small orchestra, but also exists in a version for cello and piano.

The Concerto for cello and orchestra, Op. 85 by Edward Elgar is among the greatest cello concertos ever written. Elgar recorded the work with Harrison as soloist, but the opus didn't achieve its current status in the repertoire until cellist Jacqueline du Pre recorded the work in the 1960's.

Join Alan Brandt as he presents these works on An English Pastorale, Sunday at 9am on Classical 90.5.

Cyril Scott - Pastoral and Reel
George Dyson - Prelude Fantasy and Chaconne
Edward Elgar - Cello Concerto

Enjoy Cyril Scott's little-heard Cello Concerto:

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