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Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, November 2018

Lloyd Webber shows himself to be a very capable conductor. In familiar works such as Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro and also his Serenade for Strings, Lloyd Webber does not erase one’s affection for classic recordings by Barbirolli and Boult (for example), but he clearly knows and loves this music, and I’m sure it’s not exactly unknown to the English Chamber Orchestra! In short, this CD is a success, although it is desirable chiefly for the less-familiar works that it contains. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, July 2015

This is a very enjoyable anthology. I don’t know how much conducting Julian Lloyd Webber had done prior to this assignment but he obtains good and responsive playing from the ECO. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Gil French
American Record Guide, July 2015

I find Webber’s approach very different and highly sensitive. …he’s a conductor with a different take on these works but one that is eminently musical. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Bruce Reader
The Classical Reviewer, May 2015

[Lloyd Webber] brings his fine musicianship to Elgar’s Sospiri, Op. 70 in a performance that draws the most exquisite playing from the ECO, subtly drawing moments of intensity and a richness of string texture that is really quite lovely.

With a vivid recording…this is one of the finest discs of such repertoire available. © 2015 The Classical Reviewer Read complete review

Remy Frank
Pizzicato, May 2015

This is Julian Lloyd Webber’s premiere recording as conductor and at the same time his last production as cellist. His conducting is as ambitious as his cello playing. He carefully develops atmospheres without getting sentimental. The English Chamber Orchestra plays vividly and with much refinement. © 2015 Pizzicato

Steven A. Kennedy
Cinemusical, April 2015

Naxos’ recording allows for a great full sound from the ECO who has played many of these pieces throughout their history. The music has a great blend of older standard repertoire with a few new surprises and one can hope that perhaps Lloyd Webber and the ECO will continue to explore this vast repertoire on future releases. The Goodall work from which the CD takes its title is worth its time and a good reason to revisit even the other familiar territory here. As the music unfolds, one also tends to call to mind other wonderful string pieces that would be also great to hear and which may indeed be on the horizon. © 2015 Cinemusical Read complete review

Malcolm Hayes
BBC Music Magazine, April 2015

Performance (Elgar Serenade):
Performance (rest):

Julian Lloyd Webber…evidently has the ability to make a difference to collective performance-level (the English Chamber Orchestra plays character fully and vividly at every point) while not getting in the music’s way—a combination of qualities nicely suited to this line-up of string works. Those by Elgar come across especially well. The Introduction and Allegro crackles along with crisp energy, with the four solo players delivering some lovely moments; and Lloyd Webber’s sureness of touch in the Serenade for Strings exactly captures the music’s unpretentious warmth. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine

Andrew Achenbach
Gramophone, April 2015

Julian Lloyd Webber…offers an impressive disc of English music that demonstrates a richly rewarding affinity for the repertoire. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

David Mellor
Mail on Sunday, March 2015

…Julian Lloyd Webber emerges as a conductor of some distinction, drawing eloquent performances from the English Chamber Orchestra… © 2015 Mail on Sunday

Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, March 2015

…the music is well performed and recorded…and with two attractive premieres to boot, this is well worth considering. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Classic FM, February 2015

This is a beautiful album, with an intriguing mix of the familiar and the unknown. All the signs are that the former cellist Julian Lloyd Webber could be turning into a very fine conductor indeed. © 2015 Classic FM Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2015

A disc of English string music that marks Julian Lloyd Webber’s debut recording as a conductor, and takes its title from Howard Goodall’s And the Bridge is Love. There is also sadness hidden away, as with this work for solo cello and strings Lloyd Webber brings to an end his career as a cellist, an injury to his shoulder preventing further concert appearances. When one door closes, another one opens, and we can now enjoy his exceptionally fine account of works by Elgar, an uncommonly virile and fast moving Introduction and Allegro opening a disc that finds the English Chamber Orchestra in fine form. That is equally true of their performance of the Serenade for Strings, though here Lloyd Webber takes a more leisurely view, the sadness he brings to slow central movement spilling over into the finale. Sospiri unfolds in an unhurried pace, and I much enjoy the unaffected reading of the two Chansons in the familiar string arrangement by William Reed Much tenderness in the two string pieces that Walton included in his film score for Shakespeare’s Henry V, and the two short Aquarelles by Delius in Eric Fenby’s arrangement. The novelty is the very attractive The Moon by the conductor’s father William Lloyd Webber which only received its premiere in 2014, and there is another world recording premiere in Goodall’s very sad work written in memory of a teenage cellist. Outstanding sound from the legendary Watford venue. I hope this the first of many from the Lloyd Webber baton. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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