His String Serenade, dating from the 1880s, is as lovely as anything by Tchaikovsky, Dvorák, or Grieg.
Here's an excellent disc of all but unknown music by one of the unsung musical heroes of the late 19th century. Victor Herbert's style is witty, charming, melodious, but also recognizably "fin-de-siècle" bordering on decadence but somehow never quite crossing over the line. His String Serenade, dating from the 1880s, is as lovely as anything by Tchaikovsky, Dvorák, or Grieg. The Seven Pieces are very nicely played by Maximilian Hornung in effective arrangements based on the cello and piano originals. Once again he manages to keep Herbert's natural sweetness from turning unpleasantlyRead more sticky and let's face it, the tunes are wonderful.
The Three Pieces (Air de ballet, Forget-me-not, and Sunset) were assembled around 1912, and the last of them, Sunset, is a knockout (scores of the Serenade and the Three Pieces are available from Kalmus conductors of amateur and semi-professional ensembles take note). Sebastian Tewinkel's forces are certainly more than that: they deliver expert performances, naturally paced and beautifully played. My only criticism concerns the size of the ensemble: perhaps a touch too small for the lushness of texture that Herbert seems to require, and closely recorded too but that's no reason to pass on this very enjoyable and attractive disc.