To celebrate his 70th birthday Julian Lloyd Webber has announced he will release The Singing Strad, his personal selection of his favourite cello recordings, on 9 April 2021. The 3-disc collection, featuring recordings spanning over two decades and capturing Julian Lloyd Webber at the height of his powers, will be released digitally (worldwide) and as a triple CD album (UK only).
Features Elgar’s Cello Concerto
At the centrepiece of The Singing Strad is Julian Lloyd Webber’s BRIT award-winning recording of Elgar’s Cello Concerto described as “the finest ever version” by BBC Music Magazine. Julian Lloyd Webber recalled, “Recording Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the inspirational Yehudi Menuhin as my conductor was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
Other highlights featured on The Singing Strad include Julian Lloyd Webber’s recordings of Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata with John McCabe, Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1 and works by Fauré and Debussy with Yan Pascal Tortelier, arrangements of Vaughan Williams, John Ireland and Percy Grainger with Sir Neville Marriner, Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with Maxim Shostakovich and his brother Andrew’s Pie Jesu. The collection also includes Jackie’s Song, composed by Julian as a musical tribute to the cellist Jacqueline Du Pré. He explained, “I felt compelled to write something which hopefully encapsulates the special qualities of this unique musician.” All the recordings were made with his Barjansky Stradivarius cello which he played for over thirty years.
One of the most creative musicians of his generation
Julian Lloyd Webber is widely regarded as one of the most creative musicians of his generation, and he has inspired many new compositions and arrangements for cello – many featured on The Singing Strad. Throughout his career he collaborated with an extraordinary array of artists, including classical legends Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Clifford Curzon and Murray Perahia and pop royalty Sir Elton John.
Julian Lloyd Webber is currently presenting Rising Stars, a new series on Classic FM running for 5 weeks from 28 February, celebrating 30 brilliant classical musicians under 30. Artists featured in the series include pianists Benjamin Grosvenor, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Daniil Trifinov and Jan Lisiecki, cellists Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Kian Soltani, violinists Christian Li, Randall Goosby and Daniel Lozakovich, and tenor Freddie De Tomasso.
The Singing Strad – Repertoire
Elgar Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.85
Elgar Une Idylle, Op.4 No.1 ‘Esquisse facile’
Ireland The Holy Boy
Grainger Brigg Fair
Vaughan Williams ‘Romanza’ (from Tuba Concerto in F minor)
Elgar Chanson de Matin, Op.15 No.2
Elgar Salut d’Amour, Op.12
Andrew Lloyd Webber ‘Pie Jesu’ (from Requiem)
Julian Lloyd Webber Jackie’s Song
Holst Invocation, Op.19 No.2
Saint- Saëns Cello Concerto No.1 in A Minor, Op.33
Fauré Élégie, Op.24
Gounod/Bach Ave Maria Prelude
Massenet ‘Méditation’ from Thaïs
Bizet ‘Habanera’ (‘L’Amour est un Oiseau Rebelle’) from Carmen Act 1
Saint- Saëns ‘Le Cygne’ from Le Carnaval des Animaux
Saint- Saëns Allegro Appassionato, for cello & orchestra, Op.43
Debussy ‘Clair de Lune’ from Suite Bergamasque
Debussy Beau Soir
Fauré ‘Berceuse’ from Dolly Suite, Op.56
Messiaen ‘Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus’ from Quatuor Pour la Fin du Temps
Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op..33, TH 57
Tchaikovsky Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op.19 No.4
Glazunov 12 Mélodie, Op.20 No.1
Vavilov Ave Maria
Rimsky-Korsakov ‘Song of India’ from Sadko Tableau 2
Rimsky-Korsakov ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ from The Tale of Tsar Saltan Act 3
Shostakovich Cello Sonata, Op.40
Julian Lloyd Webber’s The Singing Strad can be bought here.