Cellist Ofra Harnoy's New Album, "Elgar & Lalo Cello Concertos"
Released on Sony Classical, the rediscovered and unreleased 1996 recording of Elgar’s Cello Concerto gets its long overdue debut
Cellist Ofra Harnoy has released her debut on Sony Classical featuring Elgar's Cello Concerto Op. 85 in E minor and Lalo's Cello Concerto in D minor.
The Elgar recording was completed in its 1996 Abbey Road sessions with George Pehlivanian conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra; however, it was never edited and released. Repeated inquiries and searches over the years yielded no results until the master tapes were discovered in 2022 in the storage of a former associate.
The new album also includes a reissue of Harnoy’s recording of the Cello Concerto in D Minor made in 1995 with the late Antonio de Almeida conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
To purchase and listen to the album, click here.
When cellist Ofra Harnoy entered London’s Abbey Road Studios in 1996 to record Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto Op. 85 in E minor, she never imagined she would have to wait 27 years for the recording’s release.
Shortly after the 1996 Abbey Road sessions, she spoke with the International Cello Society, for an interview. “I recently recorded the Elgar Concerto with the London Philharmonic,” Harnoy said, at the time. “I'm very excited about this because the Elgar is one of those pieces that just wrings me dry; I always end up crying. It's such a wonderful piece.”
Fortunately, notes from the sessions survived, and the Elgar recording’s original producer, Andrew Keener, advised 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 and remastered the Lalo recording.
The Lalo recording from 1995 also comes from the cellist’s years as an exclusive artist on the RCA Victor Red Seal/BMG Classics label, now a part of Sony Classical.
Listen to the second movement of Elgar's Cello Concerto in D Minor from the album below
Ofra Harnoy was born in Israel and immigrated to Canada at age 6. She studied with William Pleeth, Vladimir Orloff, and Mstislav Rostropovich, and participated in master classes with Janos Starker, Pierre Fournier, and Jacqueline du Pré. She has given concerts on five continents and has played at the request of Prince Charles, President Bill Clinton, three Canadian Prime Ministers, and several times for the Imperial Japanese family.
Harnoy has recorded nearly 50 solo albums presenting a vast repertoire. Among her many recording and live performance collaborations, she has worked with Placido Domingo, Sting, Sir Charles Mackerras, Loreena McKennitt, Colin Tilney, Igor Oistrakh, Jesse Cook, Cyprien Katsaris, Claudio Scimone, Charles Dutoit, Jeffrey Tait, Anton Kuerti, and Emmy Verhey.