“I think this recording definitely gives the lie to the old cliché that Vivaldi wrote the same concerto 500 times. All of these six concertos are incredibly different, incredibly varied. The Milonga ... is really typical Piazzolla – very poignant, very urgent and extremely beautiful.
As it turned out, this was my last full-length recording involving the cello, so obviously it’s now become very special to me. I honestly believe I was playing at the peak just before I was forced to stop playing through injury – so it means a lot to both of us. I feel very fortunate we were able to make this together.”
The first arranger of Vivaldi’s concertos was Vivaldi himself, and Julian Lloyd Webber’s new versions on this recording reflect the composer’s pragmatic attitude and zest for experiment. Vivaldi’s Concertoin G minor RV 531 is his only original concerto for two cellos. Alongside this appear works both popular and recently discovered, the mercurial moods of the cellos representing instruments from mandolins to hunting horns. Piazzolla’s Milonga displays all of his most distinctive hallmarks. Julian and Jiaxin Lloyd Webber’s acclaimed album A Tale of Two Cellos can be heard on Naxos 8.573251.
Listen to an excerpt from Vivaldi’s Concerto for 2 Cellos in G minor, RV 531: III. Allegro
About the Artists
Julian Lloyd Webber is one of today’s leading musicians. He has given the premières of more than fifty new works for cello and has inspired new compositions from a diverse list of composers, including Malcolm Arnold, Joaquín Rodrigo, Philip Glass and Eric Whitacre.
Before moving to London in 2007, Jiaxin Lloyd Webber served as principal cello of the Auckland Chamber Orchestra and played regularly with both the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. She was also a founding member of the Aroha String Quartet.
Hans-Peter Hofmann has toured extensively as a soloist and chamber music player. In 1999 he founded the Ensemble Plus and in 2006 joined the Ensemble Les Dissonances in Paris. He has made numerous recordings of repertoire ranging from baroque to jazz.
The European Union Chamber Orchestra gave its first concerts in 1981 and soon gained a worldwide reputation as a musical ambassador for the European Union. Its 2012 touring schedule included a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3 with Julian Lloyd Webber.
“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...with the legerdemain of John Lenehan’s delicate accompaniments…this is an ideal collection to while away the summer evenings.” – Gramophone
“Wallfisch’s pointed, erudite and spirited playing is supported with enlightened restraint by the CLS... With performances of this calibre, and in demonstration quality sound, one marvels that Naxos can offer so much for so little! A triumphant debut for what seems destined to become one of the legendary recording projects of the decade” – BBC Music Magazine