Matthew Barley/Cellist

See deep enough and you can see musically; the heart of nature being everywhere music, if you can only reach it.

Thomas Carlyle

Bristol Ensemble

This group have been a new discovery for me. We played the Elgar concerto tonight and it was the first time I had worked with them, but they have been going quite a few years now. Straightaway in rehearsals I noticed that they have a laid back approach, not in the sense of not caring, but in the sense that they make music for the right reasons: it has to be enjoyable, and this will communicate to an audience. It’s one of the most satisfying Elgar’s I’ve done, as we really tried to blow the cobwebs off it. It’s one of those pieces that gets encrusted with traditions that when you look at the score you can’t quite believe what is now accepted – it was great to examine it carefully and have such a responsive orchestra (and conductor, Jon James) to put it together with. Looking forward to Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with them on May 3rd.

1 Comment

  • I was there – and what a privilege. This ‘cello concerto has been top of my musical loves since hearing Jacqueline Du Pre in the sixties. But almost everyone’s performance now is a pale imitation of her – and lacking her insight. Your performance was new. It actually brought Elgar back into his cello concerto with insights of your own and gave it the vitality, life and movement it needs. I will be looking for future performance of cello favourites by you – what about the Britten? And, please, a recording of the Elgar with that brilliant orchestra.

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