Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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(1836-96) Cello Concerto (1880)
(1843-1923) Romance (1898)
(1843-1915) Cello Concerto (1887)
(1885-  ) Cello Concerto (1920)
Morten Zeuthen (cello) The Bohemian Chamber Philharmonic/Douglas Bostock CLASSICO CLASSCD 315

With Danacord on the point of launching a series of recordings of Danish piano concertos how apt it is that ClassicO (every bit a major player in the Scandinavian music stakes) should produce this fine disc.

Emil (not to be confused with his father J P E) was trained in Leipzig and secured a concert reputation in Germany. The cello concerto speaks in the same accents as the Dvorak cello concerto. It is not wildly original but it has its modest pleasures with the Czech element balanced with a snappy Iberian clip - think of Massenet (El Cid ballet music) and the lighter genre pieces of Glazunov and Frank Bridge. An unassuming but noteworthy pleasure.

Hamerik (whose symphonies are creeping out onto the market courtesy of CPO) in his Romance serves up more of the salon mainstream - a touch of the Hispanic temperament motivated by the pulse of the waltz.

Neruda's second cello concerto (there are five) limpid and has seemingly fluent goes through a few transitions. Beethovenian although much taken up with salon atmosphere at one moment and Tchaikovskian climaxes at another.

Salomon's three movement half hour concerto might almost have been written by Rachmaninov as a Tchaikovsky homage. Light textured it may well have been influenced by the transparencies and nocturnal fantasies of Ravel. The Andante cantabile is warmly mobile and flowing. The last movement returns to Gallicism with flickering elan and the sort of theme for which Glazunov would have given his eye teeth.

There is not a one of these four lyrical concertante pieces that is difficult. All are played with evident enjoyment and the hum-drum pall that hangs over some recordings of rare repertoire is here totally absent. The orchestra is fully the match for these late romantics though the strings could have benefited from additional 'deep pile' weight.


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

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