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.

Gramophone

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 .

Gramophone

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.

Gramophone

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

MacMillan – Cello sonata No 1

The Cello Sonata’s impact is helped by a stunning performance – Raphael Wallfisch and John York identifying totally with the music’s volatile emotional trajectory. But all the performances, including those of the shorter pieces which complete the programme, are excellent

Gramophone

Liszt, Dohnányi, Kodály – Music for Cello & Piano

Wallfisch and York perform Liszt’s entire oeuvre for cello and piano on the first of these CDs. In every way their playing is magical, alive to every nuance and dynamic indication, and yet wearing the music’s countless and characteristically Lisztian complexities lightly enough to allow the salonesque nature of these works … to register appealingly… For once, the music notes actually set the pieces themselves in a meaningful and educative context.

Amongst these superb realizations, the inconsolable grief of La lugubre gondola … leaves an indelible impression, nobly understated yet inescapably powerful.

The second disc is given over to works by Dohnányi and Kodály, dominated by autoritative and eloquent accounts of their substantial sonatas for cello and piano.

Dohnányi Cello Sonata, op.8. This new account is exceptionally fine, with the surging and dramatic first movement delivered with power and nobility of utterance by Wallfisch. Particularly impressive is the concluding variation movement, played with surging brilliance and drama here, though, in complete contrast, it is good to hear Wallfisch and York in more overtly folk-inspired music, Dohnanyi’s winningly atmospheric Ruralia hungarica of 1924. Any more compellingly idiomatic or richly seasoned cello playing than this would be hard to contemplate!

It need hardly be added that the nimbus engineering is hugely impressive, too, bringing a seductive aural sheen to the playing of Wallfisch and York.
Michael Jameson – International Record Review

These are some very fine works fabulously played by Raphael Wallfisch and John York. The recording from Nimbus’ Wyastone Leys venue in Monmouth is clear and detailed and there are excellent notes by John York. I hope we soon have more from this terrific duo.
The Classical Reviewer See full review

Leighton – Complete Chamber works for Cello

The Elegy … [is] a seven minute essay whose songful countenance owes not a little to Vaughan Williams and Finzi.

… the Partita is cast in three movements, its opening, imploringly expressive Elegy leadingto a biting Scherzo and prodigally inventive Theme and Variations. Thi is music of impeccable craft and genuine substance, always sure of its goal and shot through with Leighton’s own pungent brand of lyricism.

Likewise the meaty and rewarding Sonata for cello that Leighton wrote for Joan Dickson … amply repays close scrutiny, its enviably concentrated and exhilaratingly resourceful finale … ultimately returning tothe elegiac mood of the work’s introduction.

Suffics it to report, Wallfisch and Terroni are superbly persuasive exponents, the performance of Alleluia Pascha Nostrum in every way a match for dedicatee Wallfisch’s own blistering workld premiere recording with his father, peter, on Chandos.

… this valuable BMS anthology merits the heartiest of plaudits.

Andrew Achenbach – Gramophone