Cello Concerto no.2 in E minor, opus 30, by Victor Herbert.

I heard this bit of music, on Fine Music Radio, the other day and had a long discussion of what it could be, I thought it was a European, perhaps Russian Cello Concerto, from the early twentieth century, how surprised I was to hear it was by Victor Herbert, as I had always known him as a composer of operettas and light music. But here was a wonderful very considerable and lovely work of his that I really love.

Herbert was an Irish American, composer, conductor and cellist, born in Dublin on the 1st of February 1859, and died in New York on the 26th May 1924. He studied in Germany, before touring Europe, ending up in New York in 1886, staying in the USA until his death, between 1898 and 1904 he was the director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He composed 2 Operas, about 30 Operettas, a Cantata, 2 Cello Concerto’s as well as works for orchestra,  bands, and chamber music. This work seems to me to be a bit ahead of its time, with some strange (for the time) intervals, some very interesting orchestration, very modern harmonics. Listen carefully and you will hear allusions to much American music that was to come later. So her it is the Cello is played by Lynn Harrell, accompanied by the Academy of St.Martins in the Fields, directed by Sir Neville Marriner, thanks to HarpsichordM. and Youtube, so enjoy :

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