Edouard Lalo

Cello Concerto in D minor

    Description by Blair Johnston

    For the many who know Edouard Lalo only as the composer of the warhorse Symphonie espagnole for violin and orchestra, it is surprising to learn that he is the author of over a half-dozen other vehicles for soloist and orchestra (and all kinds of other works, operatic, orchestra, chamber, and sacred, as well), including two other violin concertos and an absolutely unknown piano concerto. The only one of these other concerto-type works to have earned any kind of reputation at all is the Concerto for cello and orchestra in D minor composed in 1877, a favorite of student cellists that is nevertheless surprisingly and wonderfully colorful in a master's hands. Lalo was a better and more thoughtful composer than historians usually allow, and although the work sometimes veers toward the trite, the Cello Concerto is not short of charms.

    Though a Frenchman, Lalo was of Spanish descent; Spanish idioms fill the three movements of the Cello Concerto, here subtly, there blatantly. The Allegro maestoso first movement is prefaced by a Lento introduction in which the cellist ponders the coming movement in recitative style -- there is no traditional orchestral exposition here. The body of the movement is built around three elements: a firmly chiseled tune first offered by the soloist, an unshakable descending accompaniment theme, and a gorgeous, dolcissimo second theme, during which the descending accompaniment theme takes on a new tenderness but does not dissolve. The second movement is an intermezzo that alternates between lyric Andantino con moto music and sprightly Allegro presto music. After a brief introduction (which temporarily moves into the unlikely realm of B flat minor and gives an advance copy of one of the upcoming themes), the last movement takes the shape of a robust rondo.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Prélude. Lento - Allegro maestoso
    2. Intermezzo. Andantino con moto - Allegro presto - Andantino (Tempo I)
    3. Introduction. Andante - Allegro vivace

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Supraphon SU 42292
    2017 Warner Classics 560476
    2017 Warner Classics 0190295886738
    2016 Oehms Classics OC 1838
    2016 Alpha ALPHA 233
    2015 PentaTone Classics PTC 5186488
    2015 MSR Classics MS 1512
    2015 Sony Classics 513074
    2013 Entertainment Group 12808
    2013 Classic Talent DOM 381011LE
    2013 Onyx Classics ONYX 4107
    2013 Sony Classical 88765438572
    2012 Broken Audio BRAU 0617
    2012 Decca / Mercury Living Presence 001653302
    2012 Ars Produktion 38119
    2011 Sony Classical 88697539712
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 509996886272
    2010 Naïve V 5246
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Sony Classical 88697714332
    2009 Sony Classical 752307
    2009 Doremi Records 7974
    2009 Naïve NC 40008
    2008 Retrospective 93651
    2007 Apex
    2007 Apex
    2007 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099950416
    2007 EMI Music Distribution 82390
    2006 BIS 1296
    2005 Decca 4756327
    2005 Brilliant 92771
    2005 Iron Needle 1324
    2005 Mercury 475 6621MSA
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 Dutton Vocalion 9748
    2005 EMI Classics 4768672
    2005 EMI Classics 76868
    2004 Naïve 4969
    2003 EMI Music Distribution 573503
    2003 Centaur Records 2837
    2003 Erato 2564602262
    2000 Supraphon SU3514-2
    2000 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Distribution 457761
    2000 Naxos 554469
    1999 Danacord 422
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 4273232
    1996 RCA 68420
    1995 Deutsche Grammophon 437 371-2GX2
    1995 Valois 4754
    1995 EMI Classics 555528-2
    1993 ASV 867
    1993 Pearl 9981
    1992 Sony Music Distribution 48278
    1991 Mercury 432010
    Finlandia
    Finlandia 95768
    Brilliant 92771/8
    Testament 1361
    Erato 45949
    Supraphon 110606
    Strings 99316
    Russian Disc 11101
    Vox Allegretto 8143
    Lyrinx 116
    Canyon Classics 3694
    Vox 7203