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

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

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

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

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. April 2013, deSingel, Antwerp
HYPERION CDA67790 [65:07]

Vieuxtemps’ career as one of the greatest soloists of his age ended in 1873 when he was struck down by the first of a number of strokes. Thereafter he turned increasingly to composition but not solely for his own instrument, the violin. In early 1876 he completed work on his first Cello Concerto. It’s couched in the vernacular of later nineteenth-century writing, with a brief orchestral introduction presaging a veritable gabble of non-stop technical demands. Fortunately Vieuxtemps was too good a melodist to omit a grandly sweeping tune and to offer some contrasting material, variously insistent, powerful and relaxed. The heart of the work is in the slow movement, cut from his finest cloth, with its lovely lyric tune and deft orchestration. It makes one wonder how it was played when Joseph Servais essayed it privately or when Joseph Hollman – who lived long enough to record – played it in front of William III in Amsterdam. As it is Alban Gerhardt, a major player in Hyperion’s Romantic Cello series, plays with ardent expressive tone, and he brings dextrous virtuosity to the finale, whose passagework requires plenty of bravado from the soloist.

The opening orchestral exposition of the Second Concerto, a work composed with Servais in mind, is particularly fine. Vieuxtemps is more democratically-inclined here, trusting the orchestra with a greater share of dramatic and colouristic responsibility and the opening measures positively sweep along in stirring fashion. There is plenty of incident here and an ingenious accompanied cadenza. The slow movement opens with a decided baroque tinge, unleashing a meditative cello response, and an air of the funereal about both solo and accompanying forces, especially the brass. This tread generates a brief, quiet intensity. A self-requiem encoded, perhaps because whilst the finale casts care to one side and salutes the future with brio, Vieuxtemps himself did not live to hear the concerto performed, dying in June 1881.

As the cortège laid Vieuxtemps to rest – he was only 61 – the next reigning lion of the Belgian school carried the older man’s violin. The violin-bearer was leonine Eugène Ysaÿe, who is represented by two works, both composed around 1910 but not published until 1921. The Méditation is much the longer and particularly fascinating, as Ysaÿe’s compositions usually are, for its harmonic suggestiveness. It’s a rhapsodic tone poem, in effect, of some Wagnerian subtlety allowing the cello to weave through the orchestral writing with care. Ruminative though it is, it casts something of a hallowed spell, and this performance does it real justice. The Sérénade is, as the name suggests, a lighter, more elegant and less diffuse piece. Both these were on a Musique en Wallonie CD (MEW1472 - review), a disc I’ve yet to hear.

As for Vieuxtemps there’s a competing disc on Cyprès CYP 4609, released back in 2001 with cellist Marie Hallynck to the fore though again, frustratingly for the purposes of comparison, I’ve not had that either. Nevertheless I can hear no failings in Gerhardt’s performance and he is splendidly partnered by the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and their excellent conductor Josep Caballé Domenech in the pleasing acoustic of deSingel, Antwerp. Fine notes too by Nigel Simeone make this a decidedly attractive proposition.

Jonathan Woolf


 

 



Advertising on
Musicweb


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

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk
Stanczyk Acousmatic Music

Oropesa

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus