Dedications ... A Life in Music
Keith Harvey (cello)
Linn Hendry (piano) except CD2 Peter Pettinger (piano) - Ries; and Meralyn Knight (piano) - Paganini-Moses variations, Halffter Pregon and Debussy Beau Soir
rec. All Saints Church, London N2 and Conway Hall, undated
Track listing below
CELLO CLASSICS CC1027 [77:25 + 76:18]

Keith Harvey was born in 1938 and is a prestigious member of the cello fraternity. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Douglas Cameron and after only seven years’ study became, at 20, principal of the LPO. You may well know him from his membership of the Gabrieli Quartet or as principal cello of the English Chamber Orchestra (ECO). Collectors of recordings have reason to be grateful, as Harvey contributed many a shellac to Pearl for their transfer projects. It’s rare to find a first-rank performer who is also a serious record collector but in Keith Harvey and Malcolm Binns - they wouldn’t be a bad duo, come to think of it - Britain has two of the world leaders.
Harvey has constructed a charming two-disc series of transcriptions dedicated to ‘his friends within’, as it were. They range from the profound complexities of the extensive Bach Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue arranged by Ferruccio Busoni to the affectionate delicacy of Purcell’s Music for a while. One can note with interest and enthusiasm the composers Harvey has chosen to arrange as well as to whom each arrangement is dedicated. This latter group ranges from Henry Mancini through cellistic idols such as Feuermann, Piatigorsky, André Navarra, Casals and Rostropovich to Dinu Lipatti and close personal chums. In most of the 37 pieces he is elegantly accompanied by Linn Hendry.
Some of the pieces, it’s true, are arranged by others - the others being Piatigorsky, Heifetz, Kreisler, Fournier, and Luigi Silva - but the vast bulk were arranged adroitly by Harvey himself. Rich portamenti and ripe melancholy inform the playing in Tchaikovsky’s Autumn Song and there’s a hint of a cellistic bumblebee in Yuri Shaporin’s Scherzo. Harvey takes on Heifetz’s scintillating Gershwin arrangements and offers three Nin transcriptions of his own. As befits a connoisseur he dedicates one of them to the violinist Miguel Candela, who made, as Harvey says, some gorgeous 78s. I have his Glazunov Concerto set and it’s terrific - one of the first recordings of it ever made.
Appropriately he dedicates his performance of his Paraphrase on Prélude à l'après-midi d'un Faune to his wife Meralyn Knight, who accompanies on three tracks, but not this one. Her three recordings are noticeably boxier than the others, and are less kind to Harvey’s tone though they’re all very warmly played. He has dedicated Achron’s Hebrew Melody to Raphael Wallfisch and was inspired to arrange it after hearing the tragically short-lived Joseph Hassid’s recording. I’m very glad that he has included Heifetz’s arrangement of the folk song Gweedore Brae. It’s that much more evocative on Brunswick 78 even than on the recent complete Heifetz box set.
In each disc there’s one ‘big’ arrangement. The Bach-Busoni is on disc one and Ferdinand Ries’s Variations on Three Russian Airs is on disc two. It’s full of decorative élan, not least for the piano (here, played by Peter Pettinger) as well as suave cellistic lyricism. There’s a blockbuster Paganini brace and two movements from Reger Suites, about which Harvey is rightly admiring.
His little notes about pieces and dedications make for affectionate, often amusing, wry reading. He was badly in the wars, medically speaking, not so long ago but has now recovered. He is an outstanding player and a generous colleague, alert to admirable qualities both musical and human. These discs reflect those very same qualities in abundance.
Jonathan Woolf 

CD 1
Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643)
Lamento Di Arianna [2:17]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue arr. Ferrucio Busoni [12:41]
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
Romance in a Minor arr. Gregor Piatigorsky [2:25]
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Autumn Song [4:08]
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Russian Maiden's Song [3:54]
Yuri SHAPORIN (1887-1966)
Scherzo [1:59]
George GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Bess You Is My Woman Now, from Porgy and Bess arr. Jascha Heifetz [3:16]
It Ain't Necessarily So from Porgy and Bess arr. Jascha Heifetz [2:55]
Joaquin NIN (1879-1949)
Murciana [2:03]
Saeta [3:06]
Andalucia [1:55]
Ed POLDINI (1869-1857)
Poupée Valsante [2:30]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Pavane Pour Une Infante Défunte [6:01]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Paraphrase on Prélude à L'après-midi d'un Faune [8:13]
Henri DUPARC (1848-1933)
Chanson triste [3:36]
Joseph CANTELOUBE (1879-1957)
Bourée Auvergnate [2:23]
Joseph ACHRON (1886-1943)
Hebrew Melody [5:25]
Sea Murmurs [2:00]
Gweedore Brae arr. Jascha Heifetz [3:09]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Four Serious Songs - No.3 [3:29]
CD 2
Henry PURCELL (1659-1695)
Music for a While [4:36]
Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838)
Variations On Three Russian Airs [12:39]
Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907)
Varen [4:11]
Reinhold GLIÈRE (1875-1956)
Romance in D Major [4:53]
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Waltz [1:48] and March [1:50]
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Mazurka in a Minor arr. Fritz Kreisler [3:34]
Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937)
Etude in B flat minor [4:49]
Nicolò PAGANINI (1782-1840)
Variations On Theme from 'Moses' [7:12]
Caprice Op.1 No. 5 arr. Luigi Silva [2:34]
Ernesto HALLFTER (1905-1989)
Serenade a Dulcinea [5:03]
Pregon; Cuban Dance [2:40]
Max REGER (1873-1916)
Cello Suite in D, Op. 131c - Prelude [5:28] and Variations [7:03]
Erik SATIE (1866-1925)
Gymnopédie [2:17]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Beau Soir arr. Pierre Fournier [2:58]
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Adieu [2:43]

Admirable qualities both musical and human.