GRAMMY award-winning Nicola Benedetti's new album on Decca Classics explores music by Britain's best loved composer, Edward Elgar. The centerpiece is his vast Violin Concerto in B minor. Op. 61 coupled with three short works for violin and piano: Salut d'Amour, Sospiri and Chanson de Nuit. The album will be released digitally worldwide on May 15, 2020.
Elgar's Violin Concerto is considered to be one of the most technically demanding violin concertos and is a marathon for the soloist at just under an hour in length. Premiered in 1910 by Fritz Kreizler, this concerto has a profound effect on those that give it the time it deserves. Benedetti performs the Violin Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestraconducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
Pianist Petr Liminov joins Benedetti for three short works for violin and piano. The heartfelt adagio Sospiri was written in the lead up to WWI and was originally intended as a companion piece to Salut d'Amour (Elgar's first published work in 1888) but what emerged was a more intense piece. Both works were originally written for string orchestra but are performed here in the composer's own arrangements for violin and piano alongside the charming Chanson de Nuit.
Commenting on the new Elgar album Nicola Benedetti says, "The depth of love and fascination I have for this man and his music has made this entire process a dream. He was so out of the ordinary, from his non-traditional training to his understanding of people to his style of expression in music - there is only one Edward Elgar, and I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to record so much of his music."
Salut d'Amour is one of Nicola's earliest musical memories aged six and she was so intensely moved by the piece on first hearing it that she burst into tears. Today Benedetti launches "Learn Salut d'Amour with Nicky" as part of the Foundation's online series and invites young musicians to learn and perform one of the violin's most popular pieces. Benedetti will teach Salut d'Amour via Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram with daily tutorials at 5AM EST for a week from April 10-16.
Participants are invited to email their performances of Salut d'Amour to email@example.com or upload on social media using #salutnicky by Thursday April 16. A winner will be selected from the entries and their performance will be premiered online on April 19 at 12PM EST followed by a live Q&A ‘Ask Nicky.'
Nicola Benedetti commented, "During these unprecedented times, the re-creation of community and collectivity is urgently needed and there is no better way than through the arts and music. As part of our ‘With Nicky' series I am so excited to teach this beautiful piece via social media channels and hope that many, many young violinists will join me to explore it further together and then give a mass virtual performance. I can't wait!"
Visit www.benedettifoundation.org to access the following information:
· The sheet music for Salut d'Amour which is available to download
· Nicola performing Salut d'Amour allowing young musicians to play along
· Petr Liminov performing only the piano part allowing young musicians to play along
· Full details on how to submit your performance of Salut d'Amour
Nicola's performance with Petr Liminov of Salut d'Amour will be released digitally as a single and available online from Friday, April 17.