Jean-Guihen Queyras/BBC SO/Belohlavek
Elgar Cello Concerto etc
How do you like your Elgar Cello Concerto? The question's not as trite as it might appear. I'm a fervent admirer of French cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, particularly for the incredibly neat, compact and refined quality of his playing, elements that here bring an aura of sophistication and tremendous intellectual integrity to his new recording of the piece, with Jiri Belohlavek and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in immaculately responsive and sympathetic accompaniment. But it's for these very reasons that I suspect this version might not appeal to all devotees of the great concerto, who might find it a bit too cerebral and rather short on the earthiness, passion and soul that someone like Jacqueline du Pre (of course) found in the heart of the piece. No such equivocation about Queyras's masterly and polished performance of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations, absolutely up his stylistic street, and the two lovely wee Dvorak pieces filling out the disc.