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