|Elgar – Concert e-moll Op.85 for cello and piano. You can download the PDF sheet music Elgar – Concert e-moll Op.85 for cello and piano on this page. This monumental and modern Elgar's Concert is a must-have cello composition for each cellist. . Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85, his last notable work, is a cornerstone of the solo cello repertoire. Elgar composed it in the aftermath of the First World War, when his music had already gone out of fashion with the concert-going public. In contrast with Elgar's earlier Violin Concerto, which is lyrical and passionate, the Cello Concerto is for the most part contemplative and elegiac.
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The piece was composed during the summer of 1919 at Elgar's secluded cottage "Brinkwells" near Fittleworth, Sussex, where during previous years he had heard the sound of the artillery of World War I rumbling across the Channel at night from France. In 1918, Elgar underwent an operation in London to have an infected tonsil removed, a dangerous operation for a 61-year-old man. After regaining consciousness after sedation, he asked for pencil and paper, and wrote down the melody that would become the first theme in the concerto. In 1918, Elgar composed three chamber works, which his wife noted were already noticeably different from his previous compositions, and after their premieres in the spring of 1919, he began realizing his idea of a cello concerto.
The concerto had a disastrous premiere, at the opening concert of the London Symphony Orchestra's 1919–20 season on 27 October 1919. Apart from the concerto, which the composer conducted, the rest of the programme was conducted by Albert Coates, who overran his rehearsal time at the expense of Elgar's. The critic of The Observer, Ernest Newman, wrote, "There have been rumours about during the week of inadequate rehearsal. Whatever the explanation, the sad fact remains that never, in all probability, has so great an orchestra made so lamentable an exhibition of itself. ... The work itself is lovely stuff, very simple – that pregnant simplicity that has come upon Elgar's music in the last couple of years – but with a profound wisdom and beauty underlying its simplicity." Elgar attached no blame to his soloist, Felix Salmond, who played for him again later. Elgar said that if it had not been for Salmond's diligent work in preparing the piece, he would have withdrawn it from the concert entirely.
In contrast with the First Symphony, which received a hundred performances worldwide in just over a year from its premiere, the Cello Concerto did not have a second performance in London for more than a year.