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Robert Maxham
Fanfare, November 2010

The items on this year’s list begin with pure fun (Hülshoff and Eichhorn)…



Mike D. Brownell
Allmusic.com, April 2010

Though his fame was less far-reaching and certainly less enduring than his namesake, Adrien François Servais was nonetheless known as the “Paganini of the cello.” Judging by the immense technical difficulty of many of his works and numerous historical accounts, this moniker seems to be well-earned. By an extremely young age, Servais was on faculty at the Brussels Conservatory where the opportunity to meet and work closely with violinist/composers Hubert Léonard, Joseph Ghys, and Henry Vieuxtemps. They collaborated on several compositions together, six of which are heard here on this Naxos album. The overriding characteristic of each of these pieces is clearly a display of technical bravura, yet Servais and his collaborators managed to keep their works from being trite, innocuous trivialities. Rather, they produced works that are instantly captivating, nearly orchestral in their density of sound, highly entertaining, and—yes—technically astounding. Performing these little-heard gems are cellist Alexander Hülshoff and violinist Friedemann Eichhorn. Servais ensured that his works were at the very least a partnership of true equals, if not every-so-often favoring the cello. Hülshoff and Eichhorn brilliantly capture this notion with their impeccable sense of balance, pristine and polished intonation (even in extensive passages played entirely in unison), and crisp articulation. Their performance together is one that listeners will undoubtedly enjoy for both technical and musical merits. Visit www.allmusic.com for more information and to buy this album online.



Giv Cornfield
The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics, February 2010

Servais (1807-1866) was a celebrated 'cellist-composer whose virtuoso playing earned him the sobriquet as 'the Paganini of the Cello'. I first became familiar with his music while recording 'cellist Joel Krosnick in what were called Grand Fantasies on themes from Rossini operas. This kind of music was all the rage during the 19th century, and the Servais Society in Belgium sees to it that it continues to this day. For the works on this CD, Servais collaborated with some of the hottest fiddlers of the day, best known among them being Henri Vieuxtemps. The music calls for all manner of acrobatics, a tall order that the artists on this CD perform with admirable panache.






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1:31:28 PM, 11 July 2014
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