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Ofra Harnoy

Elgar & Lalo Cello Concertos

Sony Classical
Release Date: September 15, 2023

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Interview w/ Winnipeg's Classic107fm's Chris Wolf
1 Elgar: Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85 / I. Adagio – Moderato  
2 II. Lento - Allegro molto  
3 III. Adagio  
4 IV. Allegro - Moderato - Allegro, ma non-troppo - Poco più lento – Adagio  
5 Lalo: Cello Concerto in D Minor / I. Prelude. Lento - Allegro maestoso  
6 II. Intermezzo. Andantino con moto - Allegro presto  
7 III. Introduction. Andante - Allegro vivace  
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When cellist Ofra Harnoy entered London’s venerable Abbey Road Studios in 1996 to record Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85, she never imagined she would have to wait 27 years for the recording’s release – at last, set for release on September 15 via Sony Classical and available for preorder now.

The new album also includes a reissue of Harnoy’s recording of the Cello Concerto in D Minor by the French composer Edouard Lalo, made in 1995 with the late Antonio de Almeida conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

The Elgar recording – with George Pehlivanian conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra – was completed in its 1996 Abbey Road sessions. However, it was never edited and released, all but vanished. Repeated inquiries and searches over the years yielded no results, until a diligent effort in 2022 finally discovered the master tapes in the storage of a former associate.

Fortunately, notes from the sessions survived, and the Elgar recording’s original producer, Andrew Keener, was available to advise Mike Herriott, Harnoy’s husband and manager, who edited the tapes in their own home studio. Ron Searles of Red Maple Sound in Toronto mastered the final edit, as well as remastering the Lalo recording, using the latest Dolby Atmos technology. Keener recalls how the Elgar concerto felt at the time. “The sessions at Abbey Road’s fabled Studio 1 were productive and enjoyable, fresh and uninhibited. I hope you enjoy the result.”

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