Ireland, Moeran, Rubbra

I can think of few cellists better suited temperamentally to this repertoire than Raphael Wallfisch. He has a warmth of tone that I find very appealing and his playing is always deeply musical. He also wears his technique rather more lightly than some of his more abrasive, higher-profile rivals …


Rózsa – Concerto for Cello and Orchestra op.32

Rózsa – Concerto for Cello and Orchestra op.32
Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Cello and Orchestra op.29

… this brilliant performance, which has nothing to fear from memories of the work’s dedicatees [Heifetz and Piatigorsky]. They achieve chamber-music like intimacy in their closely intertwined parts, while sacrificing nothing in soloistic performance.
The Strad September 2006

Raphael Wallfisch plays as if he had an electric current running through him. He gobbles the music up – not politely, but with irresistable zest. Philippe Graffin’s contribution to the Sinfonia Concertante is cut from the same cloth. Could it be that Heifetz’s spirit took him over? All music making should be so exciting.
International Record Review September 2006

Raphael Wallfisch clearly has an affinity with these splendid works and the BBC Concert Orchestra are on great form. Philippe Graffin partners Wallfisch adroitly in the Sinfonia concertante … in excellent sound … for this unique pairing this newcomer can be warmly recommended.
Gramophone October 2006


It is always a pleasure to welcome a new CD from Raphael Wallfisch, for this fine artist is so consistently admirable a cellist, and his choice of repertoire is so invariably worthwhile, often bringing to our attention music which, for one reason or other, is unjustly neglected. So it proves here …

Cinq Mélodies (transcribed composer/Shchedrin)
… I was unaware of Shchedrin’s relatively recent orchestration of the other four … The result has both surprised and delighted me; here is, as it were, a new work for cellists, which ought to be added to their repertoire, but they would be hard-pressed to match the insight and virtuosic projection, allied to a fine sense of inner feeling, that Wallfisch brings to them.

Prokofiev – Cello Concertino in G minor
Prokofiev’s op. 132 is, as one might expect, his concerto equivalent to the Seventh Symphony (the work that immediately preceded it); a beautiful, unpretentious and supremely lyrical score of haunting melodic distinction and style … Wallfisch gives an absolutely lovely performance of this endearing music and he is extremely well partnered by orchestra and conductor.

Shchedrin – Parabola Concertante
Shchedrin himself is heard in his Parabola Concertante (good title) for cello, strings and timpani … written for and premièred by Rostropovich. It receives an extremely compelling performance here, very well recorded.

All in all, this constitutes an important issue from Nimbus, which I recommend with enthusiasm.

Robert Matthew-Walker – International Record Review

Prokofiev – Works for cello and piano

Raphael Wallfisch’s reading is gripping and suitably heroic and dark-hued in stature … he coaxes some beautifully full-throated and lyrical readings from the instrument … If you are looking for a comprehensive survey of Prokofiev’s music for solo cello, look no further.


Wallfisch’s transcription of the Cinq mélodies, normally performed on a violin, is absolutely inspired, so much so that it is sure to feature regularly in recital programmes in the future.

BBC Music Magazine

Prokofiev – Sinfonia Concertante op. 125

This splendid new issue is the first for many years and fills an important gap in the catalogue. Wallfisch gives a thoroughly committed account on this excellent recording and Neeme Järvi lends him every support .


Poulenc – Sonata for cello and piano

… Raphael Wallfisch plays the work with a light touch and very little vibrato … there are some beautiful portamento shifts and the changes of mood are very well defined. The excessivement calme at the end of the Cavatine is also excessively sotto voce and highly effective in Wallfisch’s hands, and the brief puckish Ballabile movement is stylishly played. John York’s 2003 transcriptions of Poulenc’s songs C’est ainsi que tu es and C are very welcome additions to the cello repertory. The tragic wartime song C is particularly moving and offers Wallfisch the one real chance to show what his 1717 Stradivari is made of in some beautiful, expressive, high-tessitura playing.

Janet Banks – The Strad August 2005

Murril, Dyson, Rubbra, Wood

Snap up this valuable and gorgeously lyrical hymn to the British cello and its place during the first half of the last century. Wallfisch, whose repertoire must be amongst the largest in the world, excels in all these works. In fact this shows him in the very fullness of his powers.

Rob Barnett, Classical Music Web

John Metcalf – Cello Symphony

The Cello Symphony was recorded live at its premiere in Cardiff during the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, 2004. This impressive work is in effect a cello concerto – and at 35 minutes a very substantial piece. John Metcalf’s style here is meditative: there is an obvious parallel with John Taverner’s The Protecting Veil which uses the solo instrument to similarly ecstatic effect.

Nimbus Records

Maw – Sonata Notturna

All credit to Raphael Wallfisch for his eloquent playing – he must surely have enjoyed Maw’s generously lyrical writing.


Martinu – Cello concerto No 1 and No 2

Wallfisch’s consummate virtuosity and considerable lyrical gifts illuminate Martinu’s solo writing like no other. There have been a variety of recordings … , but his – one of Wallfisch’s finest discs – remains the best available.
Gramophone December 2009

‘Whatever else may be on your ‘must’ list of classical CDs to buy, move it all down a notch and put this one on top. The two full-scale Martinu concertos on this disc can stand honourably with the few cello concertos ever programmed. Wallfisch brings a compelling mix of technical first and expressive insight … Not enough can be said for Chandos’ vibrant recording which puts real life-blood in the cello sound.’
CD Review – Disc of the month