Yehudi Menuhin’s career went into orbit when as a 16-year-old he recorded Elgar’s Violin Concerto under the composer’s baton. Fast forward 65 years and 33-year-old Scottish virtuoso Nicola Benedetti’s early musical life became inextricably linked with the Lord of the Strad when she started studying at his school at the age of 10, going on to perform in a memorial concert at Westminster Abbey celebrating his life and achievements.
So, Elgar’s music is part of her musical DNA, which makes her latest album featuring his concerto and three much-loved short pieces such a special treat. “He [Elgar] 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,” says Benedetti.
For the concerto she is joined by Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the result is a must-have disc which is worthy of shelf space alongside both the Menuhin surveys, Nigel Kennedy’s landmark 1984 recording and the later versions by Perlman, Hahn or Zehetmair.
Benedetti and Jurowski favour a slower reading...