[ Hyperion Romantic Cello Concerto Vol 7 / CD ]
Release Date: Saturday 12 September 2015
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The music of Wilhelm Fitzenhagen bursts into the Hyperion catalogue with two triumphant cello concertos, a couple of other original works, and his (in)famous version of the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations. Ace cellist Alban Gerhardt presides.
"Volume 7 in Hyperion's Romantic Cello Concerto series features German cellist and composer Wilhelm Fitzenhagen. Today a mere footnote Fitzenhagen was a highly prolific composer for the cello writing over sixty works for his instrument including four concertos, a suite for cello and orchestra and numerous salon pieces. If Fitzenhagen hadn't been the dedicatee and arranger of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations his name probably would not be known at all. Everywhere here Gerhardt is at his most eloquent, technically exceptional and interpretatively satisfying. It would be hard to imagine finer support than that provided by the world class Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Stefan Blunier who holds everything together with adept assurance. The sound quality was wholly satisfying with an especially splendid balance between soloist and orchestra. Fluid and lyrical, this attractive music, reminded me of Saint-Saëns and Bruch but without the same standard of development and quality of thematic invention. In truth it didn't hold my attention for long. Nevertheless those interested in virtually forgotten late-Romantic composers might well want to explore Fitzenhagen as represented by this Hyperion CD especially when the music is played as superbly as this." (MusicWeb Oct 2015)
Cello Concerto No. 1 in B minor, Op. 2
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 2 in A minor, Op. 4
Ballade 'Concertstück', Op. 10
Resignation 'Ein geistliches Lied ohne Worte', Op. 8
Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33
arr. Wilhelm Fitzenhagen