Here the German Heinrich Schiff is one of the few cellists to erase the memory of Jacqueline Du Pre in this work. He does it by not competing with her deeply soulful, big-boned tone; instead Schiff often soudns spiky and edgy, with fantastically fast skittering notes in the second movement. He finds a neurotic intensity in the Edwardian swell of the third movement. The finale is very alert and alive inside.
Schiff's avoidance of lushness helps this work, which so often sounds dated and rhetorical. He reveals what a masterpiece it is for modern ears. Mark Elder's accompaniment follows the cellist's strong expressive gestures, and the sonics are spectacular, which seems to be the norm for Halle recordings nowadays. The "filler" is actually longer than the concerto: the overlong tone poem, Falstaff, much beloved by Elgarians.