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Stunning and rarely heard works from two Belgian Romantic composers. Classic FM Drive Featured Album, 19 January 2015.
This, the sixth release in the Romantic Cello Concerto series on the Hyperion label, showcases two Belgian composers who are perhaps better known for their virtuosic violin pieces. But Henry Vieuxtemps and his pupil Eugène Ysaÿe also each wrote two rarely-heard works for cello and orchestra.
The two concertos by Vieuxtemps possess all the well-loved elements from their better-known violin counterparts - long, soaring melodies and extraordinary demands on the soloist.
As a violinist, Ysaÿe was the dedicatee of major works by Franck, Saint-Saëns and Debussy among others. His own inventive compositions include the two works for cello and orchestra recorded here: Méditation and Serenade.
The formidable German cellist Alban Gerhardt acquits himself impressively in all of the works. He is given strong support from the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Josep Caballé-Domenech.