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Julian Lloyd Webber (vc); John
As the title of this disc implies, all the pieces contained therein are rather in the same slowish-paced, lyrical vein, but their sequence has been cleverly chosen so that there is still plenty of variety to keep the lisiener's attention. Some of the items are original cello and piano pieces, others are skilful arrangements, and there is a good mixture of well known and unusual offerings. Elgar's bassoon Romance translates particularly well to the cello, as do the Brahms, Debussy and Dvorak songs and only in the arrangement of Grieg's piano piece. To the Spring does one feel that a cello is a little out of place. The Messiaen excerpt is the longest and the most profound item, and it exists quite happily as an entity away from the rest of the Quatuor. Throughout the programme Julian Lloyd Webber plays with exceptional sensitivity, sympathy and tonal beauty - in fact it would be difficult to find better performances of this kind of repertoire anywhere on records of today or yesterday. John Lenehan gives good support, and Philips have provided a mellow, roomy recording.
Tracks: Villa-Lobos 0 Canto do capadocio. Bach Cantata No. 156, Ich steh mit einem Fuss im Grabe - Sinfonia. Castelnuovo-Tedesco Sea murmurs, Op. 24a. Schumann Funf Stucke im Volkston, Op. 102 - No. 2, Langsam. Scriabin Etudes in B flat minor, Op. 8 No. 11. Rachmaninov Romance in F minor. Grieg Lyric Pieces, Book 3, Op. 43 - To the Spring. Delius Hassan - Serenade. Elgar Romance, Op. 62. Chopin Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 65 - Largo. Brahms Five Lieder, Op. 105 - Wie Melodien zieht es mir. Dvorak Seven Gipsy Melodies, B104 (Op. 55) - Songs my mother taught me. Debussy Beau soir. Messiaen Quatuor pour la fin du temps - Louange a l'Eternite de Jesus. Traditional The Star of the County Down.