This thread has been moribund for a while, but I thought it worth reviving for the sake of Hugh Canning's review in today's Sunday Times:-
Watkins writes in the booklet that he found it "daunting" to record Elgar's Cello Concerto (the competition is stiff, and Casals, Tortelier and Du Pre still dominate the catalogue), but he rises superbly to the challenge. His playing- of exceptional beauty, refinement and technical address- is all the more remarkable given that he is no longer a full-time soloist. In addition to conducting activities, he is a leading light of the Nash Ensemble and about to join the much travelling Emerson Quartet. With Davis, one of the most experienced of all Elagarians, as his conductor, this is a valedictory account of the composers last important orchestral work, closer in spirit to Tortelier under Boult than to the youthful, fiery and wayward Du Pre with Barbirolli. His long legato lines in the melancholic opening movement and the elegaic Adagio are imbued with a sense of Elgar's wistful, nostalgic look back at his past, and he captures the restless nervosity of the Allegro Molto "Scherzo", finally triumphing over pessimism in the the expansive finale. I doubt this great concerto can be more convincingly interpreted today. Davis's brilliant accounts of the Introduction and Allegro, the five Pomp and Circumstance marches and the brief, touching Elegy complete a varied programme executed with panache in state-of-the-art sound.
Last edited by Mr Pee; 22-04-12 at 23:17.
Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.