Award winning recording of A. Panufnik’s Cello Concerto

“Cellist Raphael Wallfisch’s impeccable control over the long, sustained notes, lends the music a tense, grim and implacable atmosphere.” Classical Music Sentinel

 

“Raphael Wallfisch captures the work’s fervour and inner passions with complete conviction… Displaying complete control of Panufnik’s score cellist Raphael Wallfisch is a persuasive interpreter and plays beautifully.” MusicWeb International

 

“Raphael Wallfisch renders the solo cello part with grace and intensity” Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

 

”The cello concerto, composed for Mstislav Rostropovich in the last year of Panufnik’s life and premiered posthumously, has a gentle, elegiac tone that dips back into the organic language of J.S. Bach, in a manner reminiscent of Alban Berg’s violin concerto. Raphael Wallfisch luxuriates in its textural depths.” Norman Lebrecht

 

“Raphael Wallfisch is fully in command of solo writing as conceived for (and not always ideally executed by) Mstislav Rostropovich.” International Record Review

 

Wallfisch receives ICMA Award 2015

Raphael Wallfisch receives a 2015 International Classical Music Award for his recording of Andrzej Panufnik’s Cello Concerto! His co-partners are Lukasz Borowicz, conductor, and the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

 

”The cello concerto, composed for Mstislav Rostropovich in the last year of Panufnik’s life and premiered posthumously, has a gentle, elegiac tone that dips back into the organic language of J.S. Bach, in a manner reminiscent of Alban Berg’s violin concerto. Raphael Wallfisch luxuriates in its textural depths.” Norman Lebrecht

 

Find all 2015 ICMA prize winners here

20th Century Works for Cello and Strings

… this is a useful and varied collection. There is no doubting Raphael Wallfisch’s commitment to this music, and his sonorous, focused playing makes the most of Lutoslawski’s intense accelerando and Hindemith’s concentrated mourning.

Maconchy’s Epyllion is a powerful work, and it’s powerfully played … the melodic lines are passionate and indefinably English in their modal contours … There’s also an English accent in Patterson’s Cello Concerto, with passion in the rich and interweaving lines of the opening slow movement, before a long cadenza leads to the virtuosic dance finale, which finds all players on their mettle. After that, the Jewish inflections of Kopytman’s Kaddish come from a different world, one which Wallfisch also inhabits with complete assurance.

Martin Cotton – BBC Music Magazine

… for anyone interested in an anthology of “20th Century Works for Cello and Strings” it is self-recommending … Wallfisch plays expressively throughout and the accompaniments sound well prepared.

Gramophone

Zemlinsky Cello Sonata – The Story

Since the beginning of the revival of interest in Zemlinsky, back in the 1970s, it was known that in his early twenties he had composed a Cello Sonata, performed at the Wiener Tonkünstlerverein in April 1894, which had subsequently disappeared. It was still missing when Antony Beaumont’s authoritative study of the composer was published in 2000. The piece, being contemporary with Zemlinsky’s first opera Sarema (which Koch recorded about ten years ago) and the String Quintet (itself now partially lost) which won him the attention and patronage of Brahms, was likely to have heen of considerable interest, and its absence was a matter for regret

The Sonata’s first performer and dedicatee was Friedrich Buxbaum, famous as the cellist of the Rosé Quartet and as principal cellist of the Vienna Hofoper under Mahler and his successors. It now emerges that the manuscript of the sonata remained with Buxbaum’s family, who gave a photocopy of it to the well-known musician and humorist Fritz Spiegl, who 20 years ago had given this in turn to the pianist Peter Wallfisch, father of Raphael Wallfisch. As the photocopy was very difficult to read, there the matter rested until recently, when Beaumont was able to decipher it and also consult the original, now in North Wales

Along with the original MS he discovered another, and previouslv unknown Zemlinsky work for cello and piano, the Three Pieces dating from the summer of 1891. These new accessions to the Zemlinsky catalogue, now given their world premiere recordings, provide the basis for this most welcome disc, coupled with music by an elder Viennese contemporary (Goldmark) and Zemlinsky’s second most famous pupil (Korngold)…

…. It seems almost superfluous to comment on the performances. Raphael Wallfisch and John York are among our best cello-duo teams: their names are a guarantee of excellence. They play this repertoire with complete authority, understanding and great expressive warmth, setting a standard in the new Zemlinsky items that subsequent performers will not match with ease.

Calum McDonald – International Record Review

… The performances are all quite splendid.

Duncan Druce – Gramophone

Ysaÿ, Lekeu, Franck

Ysaÿe: Wallfisch’s account is magnificent – full-blooded, yet very clear and precise.

Lekeu: York and Wallfisch make the more intense music emerge from a deeply contemplative mood.

Gramophone

Wordsworth – Holbrooke – Busch: British Music for Cello and Piano

The performances are quite outstandingly eloquent, the sound sumptuous and true … A super disc, this, and urgently recommended to all Anglophiles.
Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone – Recommended Recording, November 2010

Wholehearted and committed performances from Raphael Wallfisch and Raphael Terroni make the best of these neglected but often beautiful works which deserve to be better known. Their immaculately played readings present the perfect blend of technique and musicality, and they are well served by a warm, natural recorded sound.
Hubert Culot, MusicWeb

Heartfelt thanks once again to the BMS for another triumphant disc.
Nick Barnard, MusicWeb

If ever there was an advertisement for three composers who are largely ignored by listeners and the musical establishment alike, it is this CD. Busch,Wordsworth and Holbrooke are important composers who ought to be understood and enjoyed and appreciated as part of the British musical canon. This CD goes far in promoting this ambition.
John France, MusicWeb

… I urge this important new CD upon all those who are keen to explore the music of lesser-known composers … The performances, as I have suggested, are very good indeed. This is another success to add to the growing list of worthwhile BMS releases.
Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review

Adrian Williams – Images of a Mind

Like Britten, [Williams] uses the cello’s expressive palette to the full: slap pizzicato, stopped harmonics, scurrying sul ponticello – the works. Williams’s cello music is fortunate to have such a convincing champion as Wallfisch, technically expert enough to meet its considerable demands, and able to adapt his tone to its myriad mood shifts.

Janet Banks – BBC Music Magazine

Call me cynical, hard-bitten or whatever, but usually I wouldn’t expect to be gripped quite so deeply by new works from a comparatively little-known British contemporary composer, though Adrian Williams’s (b.1956) music certainly hits the spot decisively throughout this excellent disc. The late Sir John Betjeman wrote of Williams “I can imagine him on those hills plucking sounds from the air”. And indeed, after hearing this disc, it’s easy to appreciate the composer’s own observation that “my inspirational catalyst is the nearness to open spaces, to physical place and landscape…” Williams himself partners cellist Raphael Wallfisch in his Spring Requiem, Quatre Cantilenes and Images of a Mind. These are highly communicative and spontaneous works, most beautifully played and recorded. I found the solo cello sonata worked best, possibly because of its more regular and predictable structure, but these are impressive additions to the modern cello repertory. Highly recommended.

Michael Jameson – Classic CD

Tchaikovsky – Rococo Variations Op. 33

This account of the Rococo Variations is the one to have: it presents Tchaikovsky’s variations as he wrote them, in the order that he devised and including the allegretto moderato con anima that the work’s first interpreter, ‘loathsome Fitzenhagen’, so high-handedly jettisoned … Raphael Wallfisch’s fine performance keeps the qualifying adjective ‘rococo’ in mind – it is not indulgently overromantic – but it has warmth and beauty of tone in abundance.

Gramophone Classical Good CD Guide 2004

… if Wallfisch is not a major talent, then this reviewer has never heard one. His tone is gorgeous and his phrasing and pacing are supremely eloquent.

Fanfare Magazine