Music and Musicians January 1986
Haydn Cello Concerto
One would be delighted to hear Julian Lloyd Webber’s performances of the Haydn C major and D major Cello Concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra (Philips 412 793—1 record; 412793—4 cassette; 412 793—2 compact disc) in the concert hall, and on disc they make an excellent coupling, which leaves Nos 2 and 3 for a subsequent album, although this particular recording was made by RCA and never released by them when they had Lloyd Webber under contract. It was a shrewd move of Philips to buy the tapes, for the result is a very attractive album, intensely musical, with excellent verve in the finales and some highly suitable phrasing from both soloist and orchestra. The cadenzas are, presumably, by Lloyd Webber, and good as they are they are not in the same class as those Britten wrote for Rostropovitch in the C major, but they are rather more in keeping historically than Britten’s.
The Irish TImes 21st June 1982
Great Irish Houses Festival ends
Serenade for Strings in E min. op 20 – Elgar
Music for Castletown – Wilson
Cello Concerto No 4 in D, H.Vllb/4 Haydn
Symphony No. I in E flat, K 16 Mozart
THIS year’s Festival in Great Irish Houses came to an end on Saturday night at Castletown with a concert by the New trish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Bryden Thomson.
An degant performance of the Elgar serenade depends upon carefully-thought-out attention to the composer’s immensely detailed markings — and he was, after all, a string player. This performance did not nse to what it might have been, just because the relativities of the phrasing were not realised.
James Wilson’s new piece was commissioned from the festival thanks to the Arts Council’s commissioning scheme. Not withstanding the use lowards the end of ‘Thugamar fein an samhradh linn,’ the work left me with an austere and perhaps overinteileciuai impression, hut I must stress that that was after only a single hearin.
Mozart’s uveniIe, if already well-made, first symphony seemed too slight a work with which to bring a festival to a triumphant conclusion, even though Mr Thomson brought out a number of its indiwdual felicities.
It would have been better to have switched the last two works around, as it turned out, because Julian Lloyd Webber’s performance of this unfamiliar Haydn concerto was of the utmost excitement.
It is only recently that contemporary copies of it have turned up, the 1894 edition being too heavily edited. It is argued whether it is by Haydn himself or by G. B. Costanzi. On Saturday, I found myself enjoying it much more than I have Haydn’s undoubted cello concertos, but I am quite willing to put this down to a performance of enormous conviction, excitement and outpouring communication by Mr Lloyd Webber, in which he caught up his colleagues Into the sort of experience that would have made a great end to any festival.
By Charles Acton
The Times November 1981
Haydn Cello Concerto in D
Queen Elizabeth Hall
The ‘Haydn’ was a cello concerto. But this was no true novelty, just the resurection of a feeble piece long known and long rejected from the Haydn canon (the misleading programme note not withstanding). Some think it the work of the obscure G.B. Constanzi. Never mind: It allowed us to hear the remarkable artistry of Julian Lloyd Webber whose virile tone and perceptive phrasing can animate even the dullest series of sequences and whose sure technique can justify a very naughty cadenza.