MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around   2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Henry VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881)
Cello Concerto No.1 in A minor, Op.46 (1876) [24:58]
Cello Concerto No.2 in B minor, Op.50 (1877-80) [21:54]
Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931)
Méditation in B minor, Op.16 (c.1910) [11:16]
Sérénade in A major, Op.22 (c.1910) [6:56]
Alban Gerhardt (cello)
Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra/Josep Caballé Domenech
rec. 2013, deSingel, Antwerp
Reviewed as 16-bit lossless download.
HYPERION CDA67790 [65:07]

The pairing of Vieuxtemps and Ysaÿe is undoubtedly a common and logical one, given their shared nationality and reputation as violin virtuosi. However, by coupling their much less well-known concertante works for cello and orchestra, Hyperion has hit on a brilliant idea of their sixth release in the Romantic Cello Concerto series.

The two concertos were written by Vieuxtemps after he was forced to retire from performing after being paralysed down his left side by a series of strokes. The First was not written with a particular performer in mind, but was taken up by the young Belgian, Joseph Servais, for whom the Second was written specifically written, during the composer’s last years spent in the heat of Algiers. The First is very much like his violin concertos: full of grand gestures, passagework for the soloists, but perhaps lacking in memorable tunes. The Second, which I prefer, is lighter in scoring, and the writing for the soloist less showy but unquestionably more difficult. Neither of these is a lost masterpiece, but the world is not so overflowing in Romantic cello concertos that these works deserve their neglect. There appears to be only one other recording – on Cyprès – which I haven’t heard. I can’t possibly imagine that it would be better than this, in terms of the soloists, the orchestra and the recording.

The two fillers have featured recently on an all-Ysaÿe recording on the Musique en Wallonie label (review). They are not the reason you will buy this disc – you should buy the other one as well – but they are certainly both enjoyable works, given more brisk performances here, which probably suits them better.

Alban Gerhardt is one of the rising stars of the cello world, and has featured a number of times in this series and on this label. I was very impressed by his performances of Pfitzner concertos on Hyperion last year (review). The booklet notes by Nigel Simeone are very informative, and the sound quality is as you would expect from this source.

An essential purchase? No. A valuable release, worth your investment? Absolutely.

David Barker

Previous review: Jonathan Woolf



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount