Edward Elgar – La Capricieuse (two very different performances of this popular piece for violin and piano)

Edward Elgar (1857-1934)

Edward Elgar was an English composer who (along with other composers) helped bring about a resurrection of English classical music in the 20th Century. English music suffered after the death of Henry Purcell in 1695 and England didn’t have a native born English composer of the importance of Purcell until Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, William Walton, and Benjamin Britten came along in the 20th Century. Elgar is known for his Enigma Variations, Pomp and Circumstance Marches, Land of Hope and Glory, and a few violin/piano pieces. One of his most famous violin/piano pieces is La Capricieuse.

Here are two very different performances of La Capricieuse by Edward Elgar. The first is by Canadian Grammy award winning violinist James Ehnes and pianist Eduard Laurel, and the second is by famous Israeli violinist Ivry Gitlis and pianist Tasso Janopoulo. The James Ehnes performance was released on a DVD called Homage which features him playing various pieces on violins from David Fulton’s collection of expensive violins and violas. Unfortunately the video of James Ehnes seems to have been taken down from YouTube. The Ivry Gitlis performance with pianist Tasso Janopoulo was filmed in 1962. I won’t say anymore because I want people to listen and hear how different the two performances are and decide for themselves which performance they like more.

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