Arts Blog

Rachel Barton Pine: Elgar and Bruch Violin Concertos

American violinist Rachel Barton Pine practically grew up with the Bruch Violin Concerto No.1; in her conversation with me about her new CD, Pine says that the Bruch was her first “grown up” concerto, after having learned Bach and Mozart.  Though Pine has explored the full landscape of classical repertoire for her instrument, this is her first recording of Bruch’s concerto.  Less surprising, perhaps, is that this is also her first Elgar recording.  Although Elgar’s monumental work is getting more play these days, it’s still a piece that hovers just outside the standard repertoire.  Pine’s contribution might help improve its standing even more.  She had input from Sir Neville Marriner (just a few months before his death in 2016), and Sir Neville’s teacher was Billy Reed, who advised Elgar during composition.  So, Ms. Pine felt a sense of continuity that traces back to the composer.  More importantly, through her usual excellent research and immersive rehearsal, Pine has drawn out some of the personal expression that Elgar wove into his very detailed score.  Bruch and Elgar may seem like an unusual pairing, but not for Pine:  having listened to Yehudi Menuhin’s recording of the works for so many years, to her it’s natural.

Elgar & Bruch: Violin ConcertosPine, Litton, BBC Symphony Orchestra
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