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KDFC Radio, September 2012

The renowned British cellist Julian LLoyd Webber (brother of Andrew) has been a fan of the English composers Delius and Ireland since his student days at the Royal College of Music but it only occurred to him recently to arrange their songs for cello and piano. The two composers’ lifetimes overlap a bit and Delius (1862–1934) was a definite influence on Ireland (1879–1962). Their songs have in common an easy melodiousness with the main vocal lines transferring nicely to the cello. Lloyd Webber is joined by pianist John Lenahan and on two tracks by his wife, cellist Jiaxin Cheng. © 2012 KDFC Radio Read complete review



Christie Grimstad
ConcertoNet.com, August 2012

If one desires music soothing to the ear, brimming with expressive sentimentality, look no further than Evening Songs. Naxos’s soigné release of selected songs derived from Frederick Delius and John Ireland is worthy of repeat sojourns, the perfect antidote for tranquility.

Renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber…deftly reinterprets what must have been going on in the minds of Delius and Ireland. Set against John Lenehan’s evenly tempered harmonics, Lloyd Webber draws his strings with sincere and transparent passion, making maximum use of each note to evince the proper amount of sincere reflection. Julian Lloyd Webber arranged most all of the album’s 21 pieces, and they performed with wonderful translation excepting Evening Song and In Summer Woods both of which are played by wife, Jiaxin Cheng. In particular, Webber delivers a beautifully arranged “Serenade” from the incidental music to Hassan

Quietude dominates Evening Songs, and this Naxos recording will encourage listeners to explore other musical marvels emanating from both British-born composers. © 2012 ConcertoNet.com Read complete review



Colin Anderson
HIFICRITIC, March 2012

A nice idea; songs by John Ireland and Frederick Delius arranged for cello and played by JLW. The transcriptions work well and are played with feeling, tenderness, good tone and love. Ireland’s Sea Fever and The Holy Boy are here; indelible melodies. There’s good range included. This release is not just for cellists; it’s good to have a different light shone on these ‘settings’, which still sing. Jiaxin Cheng (Mrs JLW) performs on two tracks and John Lenehan is a sensitive pianist. The sound is nicely tangible while allowing space around the instruments. © 2012 HIFICRITIC



Jeremy Dibble
Gramophone, March 2012

Julian Lloyd Webber brings an especially sensitive ‘voice’ to the Barjansky-Stradivarius cello…in the subtle changes of register and tone he lends to his own arrangements (all bar three), with the legerdemain of John Lenehan’s delicate accompaniments. Hearing the songs of both composers without the texts, and played with such attention to contour and gradation, reminds us just how masterly and diverse both composers were in their art of the solo song…

…this is an ideal collection to while away the summer evenings. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2012

Released to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Delius, it also marks the 50th year of the death of John Ireland. Julian Lloyd Webber connects the two by arranging for cello and piano twenty-one songs and instrumental works by both composers. He has selected well, for the pieces chosen readily lend themselves to such new clothes as they move from the sadness of the first track, Delius’s Sunset, to the melancholy of Through the Long Years and the gentle beauty of the Slumber Song. Interspersed are works known in other formats, including Ireland’s piano piece, The Holy Boy, and the charming Serenade from Delius’s opera, Hassan. It could well have become a series of soothing melodies with well-known songs that include Ireland’s Sea Fever and Delius’s Love’s Philosophy. But Webber has chosen some with a darker message, such as Ireland’s The Three Ravens, while—so the disc informs us—three tracks are making their recording debut in any format: Delius’s Birds in the High Hall Garden and Ireland’s Evening Song and In Summer Woods. My own favourites include Ireland’s plaintiff, Her Song, and the tender, Spring Sorrow. The performers have been champions of both composers, John Lenehan having recorded the complete piano music of Ireland for Naxos, and they have the instinctive nature and style of such music. The engineering ideally captures Lloyd Webber’s generous tonal quality, and has achieved perfect balance between them. I hope this is just the beginning of Naxos’s anniversary issues. © 2012 David’s Review Corner




John Suchet
Classic FM, January 2012

By way of a tribute to both composers, cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber is releasing this sumptuous new album of cello and piano miniatures, for which he’s accompanied by John Lenehan.

Hear music from this, our CD of the Week, every morning—just after 10. © 2012 Classic FM






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