Matthew Barley/Cellist

Music exemplifies nature’s harmony – it balances man and heaven.

Ancient Chinese tract

Elgar with Tortelier

What a treat to be playing the Elgar concerto with Yan Pascal Tortelier. He is a great conductor and accompanist himself, but what made it very special is that his late father, Paul Tortelier, was one of the greatest cellists of the twentieth century. Paul was the cellist who I first got to know and fall in love with as a child growing up in Sheffield where he played regularly, both with the Halle and in recital. I remember very well his wonderful spirit, wit and personality that, even to a young kid, just poured off the stage. I went backstage several times to get his autograph when only 9/10 years old, and remember vividly that on his cello case handle was an enormous wadge of airline tags – probably 30 or 40 of them in a great bundle, and I thought that was really cool. I also saw him playing trios with his son playing violin.

So it is a rare pleasure and honour to now be making music with Pascal. He has his father’s charisma, and a wonderful sense of who he is as a musician that makes it fun to work with him.

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