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Timothy Ridout|Elgar: Viola Concerto - Bloch: Suite for Viola and Orchestra

Elgar: Viola Concerto - Bloch: Suite for Viola and Orchestra

Timothy Ridout, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins

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You can’t blame violists for wanting to expand their repertoire, especially since Edward Elgar himself approved this arrangement of his famous Cello Concerto from violist Lionel Tertis in 1929 by conducting its first performance in 1930. Tertis left Elgar's powerful orchestration untouched, though he made a few adjustments by using octave transpositions to ensure a better balance between the viola's range and the orchestral texture.


Timothy Ridout is part of the new generation of British musicians. He was the first British violist to win the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in 2016, which kickstarted his successful career. He will be the artist-in-residence at the prestigious Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Centre in New York from 2021 until 2024.


For the second part of this album, Ridout has chosen Swiss-born American composer Ernest Bloch's Suite for Viola and Orchestra. This work was composed in 1919 for viola and piano and subsequently orchestrated the following year. Born in Geneva, Bloch temporarily moved to the United States in 1920, before permanently settling in New York to escape the Nazi threat in Europe. Whilst Judaism inspires and underlies almost all of his works, this isn’t the case with the Suite for Viola, which instead illustrates the distant islands of Java, Borneo and Polynesia (where the composer—a perpetual idealist that lived only for his art—dreamed of living). With its lush orchestration, the work was a huge success and won first prize in the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Chamber Music Competition in 1919, which contributed to its numerous performances from the 1920s onwards. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Elgar: Viola Concerto - Bloch: Suite for Viola and Orchestra

Timothy Ridout

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Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85 (Arr. for Viola and Orchestra by Lionel Tertis) (Edward Elgar)

1
I. Adagio - Moderato
00:08:14

Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Lionel Tertis, Arranger - Timothy Ridout, Viola, MainArtist

2023 harmonia mundi / BBC 2023 harmonia mundi / BBC

2
II. Lento - Allegro molto
00:04:31

Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Lionel Tertis, Arranger - Timothy Ridout, Viola, MainArtist

2023 harmonia mundi / BBC 2023 harmonia mundi / BBC

3
III. Adagio
00:04:38

Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Lionel Tertis, Arranger - Timothy Ridout, Viola, MainArtist

2023 harmonia mundi / BBC 2023 harmonia mundi / BBC

4
IV. Allegro - Moderato - Allegro ma non troppo - Poco più lento - Adagio
00:10:55

Edward Elgar, Composer - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Lionel Tertis, Arranger - Timothy Ridout, Viola, MainArtist

2023 harmonia mundi / BBC 2023 harmonia mundi / BBC

Suite for Viola and Orchestra, B. 41 (Ernest Bloch)

5
I. Lento
00:12:37

Ernest Bloch, Composer - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Timothy Ridout, Viola, MainArtist

2023 harmonia mundi / BBC 2023 harmonia mundi / BBC

6
II. Allegro ironico
00:05:18

Ernest Bloch, Composer - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Timothy Ridout, Viola, MainArtist

2023 harmonia mundi / BBC 2023 harmonia mundi / BBC

7
III. Lento
00:04:08

Ernest Bloch, Composer - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Timothy Ridout, Viola, MainArtist

2023 harmonia mundi / BBC 2023 harmonia mundi / BBC

8
IV. Molto vivo
00:08:30

Ernest Bloch, Composer - BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Martyn Brabbins, Conductor, MainArtist - Timothy Ridout, Viola, MainArtist

2023 harmonia mundi / BBC 2023 harmonia mundi / BBC

Album review

You can’t blame violists for wanting to expand their repertoire, especially since Edward Elgar himself approved this arrangement of his famous Cello Concerto from violist Lionel Tertis in 1929 by conducting its first performance in 1930. Tertis left Elgar's powerful orchestration untouched, though he made a few adjustments by using octave transpositions to ensure a better balance between the viola's range and the orchestral texture.


Timothy Ridout is part of the new generation of British musicians. He was the first British violist to win the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in 2016, which kickstarted his successful career. He will be the artist-in-residence at the prestigious Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Centre in New York from 2021 until 2024.


For the second part of this album, Ridout has chosen Swiss-born American composer Ernest Bloch's Suite for Viola and Orchestra. This work was composed in 1919 for viola and piano and subsequently orchestrated the following year. Born in Geneva, Bloch temporarily moved to the United States in 1920, before permanently settling in New York to escape the Nazi threat in Europe. Whilst Judaism inspires and underlies almost all of his works, this isn’t the case with the Suite for Viola, which instead illustrates the distant islands of Java, Borneo and Polynesia (where the composer—a perpetual idealist that lived only for his art—dreamed of living). With its lush orchestration, the work was a huge success and won first prize in the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Chamber Music Competition in 1919, which contributed to its numerous performances from the 1920s onwards. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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