ROMANTIC DANISH CELLO CONCERTOS
EMIL HARTMANN (1836-96) Cello Concerto
ASGER HAMERIK(1843-1923) Romance
FRANZ NERUDA (1843-1915) Cello Concerto
SIEGFRIED SALOMON (1885- ) Cello
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.