Cello Concerto, Op. 85, 3rd and 4th movement

Cello Concerto, Op. 85, 3rd and 4th movement

Edward Elgar

Frans Helmerson's masterclasses

English 40 min Cello

Frans Helmerson and Jean Baptiste Maizières examine composer Edward Elgar's writing style and personality in this cello masterclass.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy in February, 2021 at Arc-et-Senans.

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The masterclass

About this masterclass 

In this masterclass, Professor Frans Helmerson works with student Jean Baptiste Maizières to find the right character and personality in Elgar’s Cello Concerto. He discusses the unique qualities in Elgar’s compositional style and how they differ from those of other composers. He also encourages the student to find a tempo and character that matches the music; generally, the mood is passionate yet happy and energetic, so the performer must be careful not to let the music become too labored and serious. Helmerson also goes over a number of more technical aspects such as bow grip, right arm movement, vibrato, and dynamics, which help the student start to sound more expressive. 

What we learn in this masterclass 

  1. Choosing the right tempi.
  2. Capturing the elements that are specific to Elgar’s writing style and personality.
  3. Finding the right character.
  4. Relaxing grip in fingers and movement in the elbow.
  5. Controlling the vibrato speed and amplitude.
  • Student:Jean-Baptiste Maizieres
  • Instruments: Cello
  • Date:22 October 2021
  • Academy:Academy Feb. 14 - Feb. 21, 2021

Sheet music

lAim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this cello masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Frans Helmerson’s feedback and comments.

Frans Helmerson

Frans Helmerson

In 1971 he won one of the most famous music prizes for cellists, the Cassado Competition in Florence.

Born in 1945 in Sweden, he began playing the cello at the age of eight. After studying in Gothenburg, Rome and London with Guido Vecchi, Giuseppe Selmi and William Pleeth, he received particular support and advice from Mstislav Rostropovich.


His solo career began in Stockholm, then he joined the greatest orchestras across the five continents, playing with the leading conductors of our time - Seiji Ozawa, Colin Davies, Neeme Järvi, Evgeni Svetlanov, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt, Sergiu Comissiona, Rafal Frübeck de Burgos and Kurt Sanderling.


His passion for chamber music has led him to numerous festivals, including the International Umeea-Korsholrn Festival in northern Sweden and Finland. He has performed in Verbier, Prades, Naantali, Kuhmo and Ravinia and now works regularly as a conductor with Scandinavian orchestras.
He also teaches at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, where he is based, and at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid. He taught at the Villecroze Music Academy in 2012, 2014 and 2020.

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