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Herbert: Cello Concertos / Lynn Harrell, Neville Marriner


Release Date: 04/23/2007 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 417672   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Victor Herbert
Performer:  Lynn Harrell
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews



HERBERT Cello Concertos: No. 1 in D; No. 2 in e. 5 Pieces Lynn Harrell (vc); Neville Marriner, cond; Academy of St. Martin in the Fields LONDON 417 672 (66:53)


Irish-born, German-raised Victor Herbert (1859–1924) is best known for his many operettas composed from the 1890s until World War I and also as a founding member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Herbert conducted the Pittsburg Symphony from 1898 until 1904, and then founded the Victor Read more Herbert Orchestra, which occupied his attention for the rest of his life. But Herbert’s career began as a cellist in Vienna and Stuttgart, and he continued to perform as a soloist after emigrating to the United States in 1886. Herbert conducted his Serenade for Strings at Steinway Hall in New York two years later. In 1889, Herbert joined the faculty of the National Conservatory of Music, where he taught cello and composition for several years. In 1894, Herbert wrote the second of his pair of cello concertos, a work that inspired Antonin Dvo?ák, his colleague at the conservatory, to create his great cello concerto.


But what of Herbert’s First Cello Concerto? In many instances, a great deal of music—like the men and women who composed it—has been thought to be lost, ignored, or in the best-case scenario, distantly remembered. With the exception of a handful of his operettas, including Naughty Marietta and The Red Mill , this was to be the fate of much of Herbert’s “serious” music, including several tone poems and the First Cello Concerto. For years it was unpublished, gathering dust and downright ignored. Its popular sibling, the Second Concerto, stood alone until the earlier work was rescued from oblivion and published in 1975, almost a century after its Stuttgart premiere.


I have advocated for both neglected composers and ignored music for years, but I can think of very few works that deserve advocacy more than Victor Herbert’s early cello concerto. Both beautiful and passionate, it hasn’t lost its luster and it continues to speak both elegantly and eloquently to any and all who will give it ear. Its beauty stems from the full-throated and expert writing for the soloist and its passion comes from Herbert’s Irish heritage, something he was always happy to inject into his music when and where appropriate. The Second Concerto came along two decades later and is a more mature work, but one still finds the meticulous craftsmanship, passion, and beauty that characterize the First Concerto. Four of the Five Pieces for cello and strings were arranged by Sam Dennison from four short and light piano pieces and “Pensée amoureuse” is Dennison’s adaptation of a brief work for cello and piano.


I first encountered this compact disc while working in radio in Philadelphia in the late 1980s and have loved it ever since. It speaks to all who will give it ear of a time long past and a composer that has in some ways been long underappreciated. At some point it was dropped from the Decca catalog, but once again, the folks at arkivmusic.com have come to the rescue, resurrecting Lynn Harrell’s stellar interpretations with the unwavering support of Neville Marriner and his Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Harrell’s advocacy is passionate, powerful, and persuasive. His rich and dark tone and unfailing technique bring belated due to the youthful fire of the First Concerto while emphasizing the vigor and affection found in the Second.


Through their structural coherence, emotional satisfaction, commitment, and purpose, these interpretations, though two decades old, summon new respect for Victor Herbert as well as further admiration for Lynn Harrell and Marriner’s outstanding and consistent band. In sum, there is nothing absent here.


FANFARE: Michael Carter
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Cello no 1 in D major, Op. 8 by Victor Herbert
Performer:  Lynn Harrell (Cello)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Ireland 
2. Concerto for Cello no 2 in E minor, Op. 30 by Victor Herbert
Performer:  Lynn Harrell (Cello)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; USA 
3. Pieces (5) for Cello and Strings by Victor Herbert
Performer:  Lynn Harrell (Cello)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: USA 

Featured Sound Samples

Cello Concerto no 1: I. Andante con spirito
Pieces for Cello and Strings: No 2: Pensée amoureuse

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