Raphael Wallfisch marks the centenary of Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the story of the work’s composition, premiere and subsequent interpretations

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To mark the centenary of the completion and premiere of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Raphael Wallfisch reflects upon the period and circumstances surrounding the work’s creation and subsequent life – including its close association with the legend of Jacqueline Du Pré.

We hear from our correspondent who travelled to Tokyo to hear the Kuss Quartet perform a complete Beethoven cycle on four Strads, all previously owned by Nicolò Paganini; while a tough assignment sends another Strad writer to Musique & Vin Au Clos Vougeot, the annual Burgundian festival dedicated to music and wine.

Italian maker Gaetano Sgarabotto was a fine luthier in his own right, but he also had a remarkable flair for copying the old masters, as Andrea Zanrè shows in his article; and in the first of two articles on violin set-up, Joseph Curtin examines how fingerboards and tailpieces can affect an instrument’s acoustics and resonance.

In our regular sections:

Our monthly Masterclass is from Daniel Müller-Schott on the third movement of Franck’s Cello Sonata; fingerboard mapping exercises from Jason Anick in Technique; Australian violinist Richard Tognetti tells us his Life Lessons; plus Boris Kuschnir’s memories of playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto no.4 in Sentimental Work. Our Postcards this issue come from Moscow and St Petersburg for the violin and cello sections of the Tchaikovsky Competition.

In Focus features a 1759 viola by Petter Hellstedt; Janet Starck-Toon explains her restoration method of recreating purfling in Trade Secrets; My Space features the workshop of Cremona-based Hungarian luthier Stefano Conia; and in Making Matters Christophe Landon delves into 19th-century workshop techniques by making ten simultaneous copies of a Peccatte bow.

We also bring you news of the latest competitions, products and auctions, and comprehensive reviews of concerts, CDs and books.

Plus, in your 136-page digital edition, containing The Strad’s FREE Cremona 2019 supplement:

  • Read Raphael Wallfisch’s article on the Elgar Cello Concerto, accompanied by extra photos and audio clips of his 2006 recording with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Richard Dickins
  • More images of Gaetano Sgarabotto and his instruments in our feature article ‘A Master Copyist’
  • Close-ups and details of this month’s In Focus instrument, a 1759 viola by Swedish maker Petter Hellstedt
  • More views of Stefano Conia’s attractive Cremonese workshop in My Space
  • Bonus instruments from ‘Reunion in Cremona’, the Museo del Violino’s latest blockbuster exhibition
  • And, as ever, audio clips of the three ‘Strad Recommends’ recordings

The digital magazine and print edition are on sale now

Do YOU have something to say about the new issue – or about the strings world generally? Send letters to the editor at thestrad@thestrad.com.

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