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Belgian National Orchestra, Feddeck & Kobekina

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Elgar Cello Concerto & Sibelius 5

The Cello Concerto in E Minor is the last major work by the British composer Edward Elgar. He wrote the four-movement concerto in 1919, shortly after the First World War. Its elegiac and contemplative atmosphere can be linked to the fear, despair and disillusionment of the war years. By 1915, Jean Sibelius was an established composer whose 50th birthday was declared a public holiday in Finland. Yet he doubted himself. Should he radically change his compositional style in the light of the recent modernist achievements of Stravinsky, the French Impressionists and Schoenberg, or was there still a future for his nationalistically inspired, highly-romantic sound aesthetics? In the Fifth Symphony, he gradually chose to remain true to himself.