Dai Miyata ,cello Elgar : Cello Concerto Vaughan Williams/ David Matthews: Dark Pastoral
Release Date:30 October, 2019 Label: DENON/Nippon Columbia
Dai Miyata won the Grand Prix in the 9th Rostropovich Cello Competition, becoming the first Japanese competitor to win the grand prize in the world's most prestigious competition. His splendid performances have attracted a lot of attention from composers and co-performers, gaining high praise from world-class conductor Seiji Ozawa. He has been performing internationally as one of the leading cellists from Japan. Miyata signed an exclusive contract with DENON/Nippon Columbia in 2019 and is scheduled to release his first concerto album on October 30, 2019. This album will contain Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 and Ralph Vaughan Williams/David Matthews' Dark Pastoral, both of which were recorded with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Thomas Dausgaard in Glasgow, the UK in August 2018. Miyata is scheduled to appear again with Thomas Dausggard and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo at the first BBC Proms Japan 2019 this autumn, to perform Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 .
-Dai Miyata and Dausgaard's realization, which was born after an accumulated history of many cellists’ attempts of this Concerto, can no doubt be described as one of the most impressive performances in the new era, in which the 'nobleness' that could only be attained from the precise interpretation of the score and the profound expression of emotions coexist in one piece with an overwhelmingly eloquent power.
(Koki Yazawa/music critic)
- The performance on this CD seems to me ideal, with superb orchestral playing under Thomas Dausgaard and the wonderful cello of Dai Miyata, who reaches a sublime beauty of tone at the end of the piece.
(David Matthews/composer)
Elgar : Cello Concerto Vaughan Williams/ David Matthews: Dark Pastoral
Dai Miyata -Recording of Elgar Cello Concerto
Dai Miyata
In 2009, Dai Miyata won the Grand Prix in the 9th Rostropovich Cello Competition, becoming the first Japanese competitor to win the grand prize in the world's most prestigious competition. He won first prize in all of the contests in which he has participated. His splendid performances have attracted a lot of attention of composers and co-performers, gaining high praise from the world-class conductor Seiji Ozawa. He has performed internationally as one of the leading cellists from Japan.

Miyata graduated from the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève in Switzerland in 2009, and the Kronberg Academy in Germany in June 2013. He has studied cello with Sumiko Kurata and Frans Helmerson, and chamber music with the Tokyo Quartet, Sadao Harada, Koichiro Harada, Tomoko Kato, Nobuko Imai, Richard Young, and Gabor Takács-Nagy. Miyata has been actively performing as a concerto soloist with various major orchestras around the world, including the Orchestre de Paris, The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, the Sinfonietta Frankfurt, the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, the Slovak Philharmonic, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Budapest Symphony Orchestra), the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, as well as major orchestra in Japan. He has also been working with world-famous conductors including Seiji Ozawa, Eliahu Inbal, Leoš Svárovský, Christoph Poppen, Dan Ettinger, Valery Polyansky, and Vassily Sinaisky, and has been co-performing with prominent musicians including Lynn Harrell, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Maxim Vengerov, and Augustin Dumay.
Miyata has also appeared in some documentary works including "Dialogue between Cellist Dai Miyata (25 years old) and Seiji Ozawa via Music" (nominated for the Prize of the Art Festival of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan), "The Youth in a Quartet", "NHK World - Rising Artist Dai", as well as the TV shows including "Classical Music Club", "La La La Classic", "Untitled Concert", "Hodo Station", "Nikkei Special Reserved Seat: Kanjuro Kiritake - Profound World of Bunraku", and "Tetsuko's Room". He also caused a great sensation by filling over 2000 seats at the major concert halls including the Suntory Hall and the MUZA Kawasaki Symphony Hall, which was unusual for a cellist.
He has received various other prestigious awards and prizes, including the 6th Hideo Saito Memorial Foundation Award, the 20th Idemitsu Music Prize (2010), the 13th Hotel Okura Music Award (2012), and the 74th Music Competition of Japan (2005). He is the recipient of scholarships from both the 35th Ezoe Scholarship Foundation and the Rohm Music Foundation.
Recently, he has been actively involved with the development of young musicians by serving as a judge in the international competitions and as an instructor at the Rohm Music Seminar in 2019.

Miyata plays the 1698 Stradivarius cello known as “The Cholmondeley” lent by the Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry, Ltd.
Thomas Dausgaard is Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Seattle Symphony, Honorary Conductor of the Orchestra della Toscana (ORT) and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and Conductor Laureate of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.
He is renowned for his creativity and innovation in programming, the excitement of his live performances, and his extensive catalogue of critically-acclaimed recordings. He is particularly interested in musical context, and in programmes that explore the influence of folk and liturgical music on orchestral works by classical composers.
He regularly appears at international festivals worldwide and with leading orchestras in Europe, the US and Asia. Highlights have included appearances at the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and the George Enescu Festival; and guest conducting engagements with the Munich Philharmonic, Berlin Konzerthaus Orchester, Vienna Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. In North America, he has appeared with The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Toronto and Montreal Symphonies. Engagements in Asia and Australia have included appearances with the New Japan Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Tokyo Metropolitan, Sydney and Melbourne Symphonies. CD releases include Sibelius’ Kullervo with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and a critically acclaimed recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 (Deryck Cooke version III) with the Seattle Symphony. Other recording projects feature Bartók’s orchestral works with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Nielsen symphonies with the Seattle Symphony, J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos combined with six newly commissioned companion works with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, and Bruckner symphonies with the Bergen Philharmonic. In total, he has made well over 70 CDs, including complete symphonic cycles by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Rued Langgaard.
He has been awarded the Cross of Chivalry by the Queen of Denmark, and elected to the Royal Academy of Music in Sweden. His interests beyond music are wide-ranging, and include architecture, landscape, and a fascination with the life and culture of remote communities.
Photo by Thomas Grøndahl
The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra is renowned as one of the UK’s most brilliant and versatile orchestras. Formed in 1935 and based at Glasgow’s City Halls since 2006, the orchestra’s huge range of repertoire has developed under its four most recent Chief Conductors: Osmo Vänskä, Ilan Volkov, Donald Runnicles and, since 2016, Thomas Dausgaard. The hallmarks of this most recent partnership are the establishment of several new focuses in the orchestra’s concerts, including a ‘Composer Roots’ series, which places classical works in their contexts through ℨcollaborations with folk musicians, students and choirs, a ‘Scottish Inspirations’ series of BBC Commissions from leading contemporary composers, and an ambitious programme of touring and recording.

The orchestra began its life as a small studio ensemble, playing a wide range of music from light classics to symphonic works for the BBC’s radio networks. It was when the Edinburgh International Festival was established in 1947 that its occasional ventures outside the studio gained a much higher profile. Today it performs to audiences in venues across Scotland, and has a busy schedule of concerts and broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Proms, BBC television and online. Abroad, the orchestra has appeared in many of the great musical centres of Europe, and has toured the USA, South America, China, India and Japan. The BBC SSO is a recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Award and four Gramophone Awards.
A Noble yet Emotional Elegy
- Dai Miyata's Elgar Cello Concerto
(text by Takaki Yazawa)
There is a concerto that can reveal the way the soloist approaches the piece and the degree of his/her passion instantly, just in the first several bars. Needless to say, it is Edward Elgar’s 'Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85', which cellist Dai Miyata performed on this album. If the soloist has even a small amount of hesitation or reserved energy in the opening of this Cello Concerto, where an unaccompanied solo cello releases multiple heavy sounds that are meant to go straight to the listener's heart, then the emotional drama that will unfold would not fully function. The cello soloist has to bear this weight, comparable to the opening theme of Beethoven's 5th Symphony alone (yet the weight of the 'emotion' is more in this Concerto).
This masterpiece of Elgar's later years, also regarded as his 'swan song' (the reason was explained in my program note), which Pablo Casals called "the greatest masterpiece of a cello concerto written after Dvořák", has been strongly associated with one particular cellist's name - Jacqueline du Pré. She was a tragic cello virtuoso who was forced to stop performing at the age of 28 due to multiple sclerosis, and passed away at the age of 42. Elgar's Cello Concerto was her signature program for her professional debut at the age of 16, and became a piece to remember via du Pré who left excellent performances of the Concerto in two official recordings and so on thereafter. Du Pré's performances, which vividly embodied the tragic nature and the pathos of the piece, had a big impact on other cellists, to the extent that it made Mstislav Rostropovich decide to remove the Concerto from his repertoire, and has also been a restraint on many cellists who tried to perform and record this masterpiece afterward.

However, Dai Miyata's performance on this album unfolds a different landscape in the opening from what du Pré showed us, just in the first several bars of the Concerto. Instead of grabbing the listener's heart with a blast of emotions, Miyata releases the listener into a vast space by playing the chords in one deep breath. The decisive factor in Miyata’s performance is not the abundance of emotions but the right stance to the instruction of the score. It cannot be denied that there was some deviation from the score in du Pre's performances in exchange for her overwhelming power of being ‘possessed’ by the piece. For example, the opening of the piece where Elgar instructed cellist to play "nobilmente (nobly)" was apt to be forgotten in Du Pre's performances. On the other hand, Miyata restrains the vibrato, which can be a powerful weapon of expressing emotions (but can also be a double-edged sword), fully drawing out the genuine beauty of each chord, and letting the listeners experience the nobleness of the piece (maybe evoking the often forgotten masterful performance of Pierre Fournier). By pulling the deepest bass sounds possible from the Stradivarius cello, creating a solid foundation like the earth rumbling, Miyata integrates the sounds of the cello and the emotions of the composition on a magnificent scale. The vast space created by Miyata's cello lifts the Concerto higher than just a song of grief, rising straight up to gloriously illuminate its figure as the noble swan song for
the post-romanticism as well as the Victorian Era and the Edwardian Era that had supported post-romanticism in the UK in the changing times in 1918. Miyata's articulation and sensitivities for the phrasing in his performance fully convey the rich musical ingenuity that Elgar has put into this Concerto. Miyata's performance made me think, for the first time, that the first movement of the Concerto, which does not fit the standard sonata form, might have been adapted from the first movement of J.S. Bach's 'Violin Sonata No.1', which also begins with the multiple heavy sounds of a cello. The balance between the driving force and the clarity in the second movement is exquisitely rendered in Miyata's performance. In the third movement, the gracefulness of the 'noble lyricism' that Dai Miyata possesses is fully presented. Meanwhile, Thomas Dausgaard, whose conducting was highly praised with his in-depth interpretation and bold expressions in his recent performances of Bruckner's early symphonies with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra as well as Sibelius's 'Kullervo' with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted this Cello Concerto brilliantly, again with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. They presented a witty 'chamber music' in which the cello and orchestra were closely interacting with each other to move forward in the same direction in the final movement. This is not just a metaphor, not only were Elgar's other major works in the same period all chamber music, but also Dausgaard makes us realize that an orchestra could exchange an intimate dialogue with a cello soloist (or if necessary, could challenge a cello with explosive power) by abandoning the heavy, sublime style of Elgar's earlier orchestral music. In retrospect, since the beginning of the 21st century, there are many excellent recordings of this Cello Concerto performed by some great cellists who aimed to transcend du Pre's gravity, such as Natalie Clein, Sol Gabetta (two kinds of cellos), Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Alisa Weilerstein, and so on. Among them, there are some cellists who attempted to 'brush up' the old piece based on the concept of the HIP (Historically Informed Performance). Dai Miyata and Dausgaard's realization, which was born after an accumulated history of many cellists’ attempts of this Concerto, can no doubt be described as one of the most impressive performances in the new era, in which the 'nobleness' that could only be attained from the precise interpretation of the score and the profound expression of emotions coexist in one piece with an overwhelmingly eloquent power.

When the opening 'theme of fate' reappears at the end of the final movement, just like the hammer comes in the final movement of Mahler's Sixth Symphony, there is no longer the designation of 'nobilmente'. Dai Miyata faces the theme with a different intensity from the very beginning of the piece, but that should be the 'right balance'. Vaughan Williams/Matthews' 'Dark Pastoral' seeks into the listener's heart with its faded lyricism as if it were a memorial piece for the Concerto that ended like a storm. This is a wonderful elegy for one past era, but also points to the future with the positive power of the performance.