I agree that Sir Edward Elgar is probably the best loved (and most talented) of the (too few) English Romantic composers. Yet Ralph Vaughn Williams can't be too far behind. Well, he was younger. (As an aside, it is my understanding that in this instance, "Ralph" is pronounced "Rafe.")
However, I would assert that Elgar's cello concerto sets the standard for cello concertos. And I stand by Kernos' side in proclaiming Jacqueline du Pré as the consummate cellist of recent decades. Evidence supporting this claim can be found in her 1965 recording under the baton of Sir John Barbirolli with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Even so, I must profess my admiration for the cello in the hands of Mstislav Rostropovich. Slava stands head and shoulders above the talented (and yes, acclaimed) Yo-Yo Ma. At the risk of being petty, I cannot understand why any conductor or orchestra would allow Janos Starker to share their stage.
Bottom line: I'm not a Druid, so I suppose none of this counts!
I have not heard the Elgar.
Can you recommend a recording, Pobble?
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