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HERBERT, V.: Cello Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Irish Rhapsody (Kosower, Ulster Orchestra, Falletta)


Naxos 8.573517

   Classical Net, December 2016
   Fanfare, November 2016
   The New Zealand Herald, September 2016
   Fanfare, September 2016
   American Record Guide, September 2016
   Review Corner, August 2016
   ClevelandClassical, July 2016
   Classical Candor, July 2016
   The Strad, July 2016
   ClassicsToday.com, June 2016
   MusicWeb International, June 2016
   Audio Video Club of Atlanta, June 2016
   BBC Music Magazine, June 2016
   The WholeNote, May 2016
   MusicWeb International, May 2016
   Audiophile Audition, May 2016
   Infodad.com, May 2016
   Gramophone, May 2016
   Classicalsource.com, April 2016
   Classic FM, April 2016
   WFMT (Chicago), April 2016
   The Guardian, April 2016
   David's Review Corner, April 2016

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R. James Tobin
Classical Net, December 2016

[János Starker’s] performance here is excellent, as is that of Falletta, who has an enormous repertoire.

Recommended. © 2016 Classical Net Read complete review



Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, November 2016

…Kosower is totally in his element in Herbert’s concertos, and he plays them with charm and seemly passion. Falletta gives him excellent support, and the Ulster Orchestra…knows what this music is all about. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review




William Dart
The New Zealand Herald, September 2016

American cellist Mark Kosower is a fine soloist, working well with the Ulster Orchestra under the redoubtable JoAnn Falletta… © 2016 The New Zealand Herald Read complete review



Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, September 2016

Harrell may be ever so slightly more polished in tone and poised in technique than Kosower in these performances, but Falletta’s Ulster ensemble provides a bigger, richer, and more appropriately Romantic backdrop than Marriner’s more modest, chamber-sized forces do. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review



Gil French
American Record Guide, September 2016

Both Mark Kosower, the principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra, and JoAnn Falletta are excellent in Concerto 1, the more lyrical and sparkling of the two. Their unhurried but forward-leaning pace capture its lyricism beautifully. Falletta is a hand-in-glove accompanist who never squelches the orchestra but always assures that the soloist is in the limelight. © 2016 American Record Guide



Jerobear
Review Corner, August 2016

The two main works on here have enjoy varied lifestyles. The Cello Concerto No.1 lay unpublished and unperformed for many years, while Cello Concerto No. 2 was received enthusiastically at its premiere and inspired Antonín Dvorák, Herbert’s boss, to compose his own cello concerto.

Both works are varied, with number one being more mournful and the second more impassioned and confident. He’s not a truly great composer but what he lacks in finish he makes up for in gusto and appeal, and both pieces are accessible and sturdy, standing repeated plays. If you like orchestral music but find the “great” works a little daunting, you might like this. © 2016 Review Corner Read complete review



Timothy Robson
ClevelandClassical, July 2016

An elegant player with fine-grained tone, sensitive phrasing, and fluent technique, Mark Kosower is the perfect advocate for these two concertos. Never aggressive in his playing, his lyrical gifts shine through even in the climaxes. The first concerto’s “Andante,” an operetta song-without-words, is orchestrated with great delicacy. Kosower dispatches the many scales and leaps of the second concerto’s opening and closing movements with ease.

JoAnn Falletta and the Ulster Orchestra are distinguished collaborators, attuned to Kosower’s phrasing and never overwhelming his playing.

Victor Herbert’s Irish Rhapsody is an extended medley of Irish songs, …It’s rollicking good fun, and Herbert’s contrapuntal expertise in combining multiple tunes is evident at the end of this persuasive and enjoyable album. © 2016 ClevelandClassical Read complete review



John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, July 2016

Ms. Falletta and the Ulster players seem to relish the many familiar tunes in the piece, performing with an obvious joy and enjoyment. The music may be little more than a medley of familiar tunes, but they are well-loved tunes and very well played. © 2016 Classical Candor Read complete review



Janet Banks
The Strad, July 2016

One certainly feels the affinity between the two works, from the minor tonality to the return of the slow movement theme in the finale. Kosower, principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra, brings dramatic presence to Herbert’s foreboding opening cello melody over tremolo strings and plays the broad, singing slow movement theme with moving eloquence… © 2016 The Strad Read complete review




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, June 2016

This newcomer offers cello playing that is just as assured from Mark Kosower—sweetly lyrical but never tacky, always in tune (especially in the high register), and virtuosic by turns—and a more positively shaped orchestral contribution from the Ulster Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta. Kosower and Falletta are especially compelling in the first movement of Concerto No. 1, possibly the only place where the music has the potential to bog down in its own melodic effusions. It sure doesn’t do that here. © 2016 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, June 2016

…well crafted… fine performances, well recorded. © 2016 Musicweb International Read complete review



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, June 2016

JoAnn Falletta, principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra from 2011–2014, characterizes the Irish-born, German-trained American composer as one who “never left his native Ireland in his heart,” while cellist Mark Kosower touts his music as “singing soulfully in the best registers of the instrument and demonstrating how agile and virtuosic a cello can be.” Naxos’ own website blurb is more down-to-business: “beautiful, tuneful music that is perfect for radio and in-store play.” © 2016 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review



Terry Blain
BBC Music Magazine, June 2016

The nimble, airy accompaniment curated by JoAnn Falletta are perfectly matched to Kosower’s judiciously sentient interpretations, and both she and the excellent Ulster Orchestra have fun with the hearty pot-pourri of traditional tunes stitched together by Herbert in the Irish Rhapsody. © 2016 BBC Music Magazine



Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, May 2016

Kosower is in great form in two really lovely performances, and Falletta draws spirited playing from the orchestra… © 2016 The WholeNote Read complete review



Bob Stevenson
MusicWeb International, May 2016

JoAnn Falletta and the Ulster Orchestra give this an enjoyable performance…

Kosower’s performance is very fine. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, May 2016

Falletta does this music good service… © 2016 Audiophile Audition Read complete review




Infodad.com, May 2016

Herbert’s work is tuneful and lyrical, much smaller in scale than Dvořák’s, …Grace and a kind of modest emotionalism are the hallmarks of both the Herbert concertos, …Mark Kosower handles both with just the right balance of emotion and reserve… © 2016 Infodad.com Read complete review



Jeremy Nicholas
Gramophone, May 2016

Mark Kosower is a wonderfully eloquent soloist who is a joy to hear, especially in the feisty company of JoAnn Falletta… © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Colin Anderson
Classicalsource.com, April 2016

The music is elegant and sweetly lyrical, the cellist dominating, the ensemble supporting subtly. Of course, the cello being Herbert’s own instrument, his writing for it is idiomatic if not without technical challenges, which Mark Kosower tackles with aplomb and sterling musicianship.

Under JoAnn Falletta, the performances are excellent and warmly communicative, and although fortissimos can be rather too ambient in this acoustic, the recorded balance is good. © 2016 Classicalsource.com Read complete review



David Mellor
Classic FM, April 2016

The German cellist Mark Kosower…does his best, and the Ulster Orchestra sound well… © 2016 Classic FM Read complete review



Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), April 2016

Irish-born Victor Herbert was one of the most celebrated names in American music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A cellist, conductor, and composer of light operas, he was also a recording artist. His two cello concertos are full of gracious melodies, the D major having a song-like slow movement and a spirited polonaise finale. The E minor concerto is more tightly constructed, and it was hearing this work that inspired Antonín Dvořák to write his own great B minor cello concerto. © 2016 WFMT (Chicago)




Erica Jeal
The Guardian, April 2016

Mark Kosower is a red-blooded soloist, backed by the Ulster Orchestra under conductor JoAnn Falletta. © 2016 The Guardian Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2016

Now largely forgotten, the Irish-born composer, Victor Herbert, was the darling of New York’s fashionable society scene at the beginning of the Twentieth century. The composer of forty-five operettas, an outstanding cellist and a conductor much in demand, his Irish birth in 1859 was misleading, as he was taken by his mother and German stepfather to Stuttgart when he was five. He was musically educated in Germany and there made a career as an orchestral cellist. Marrying the soprano, Therese Foster, they were both engaged by New York’s Metropolitan Opera, and were to remain in the city from the late 1880’s. His changes of occupation and fortune were numerous, eventually hitting musical headlines in 1904 with the musical Babes in Toyland, following a series of operettas that signposted his life as a composer. He was to write two Cello Concertos, the first in 1884, when he was principal cellist of the Wurttemberg Court Opera in Stuttgart, with whom he gave the first performance. Rhapsodic in content, its likeable and graceful melodies are free of dramatic content, the central Andante pointing to the sentimental songs that would make his musicals popular, the soloist’s only chance to show their brilliance coming in the dash to the finishing post. Composed ten year’s later, by which time he was a solo cellist in North America, the Second Concerto is in the same mould, the cello part calling for long seamless passages of sheer beauty. It is said to have been the instigator of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, the great composer having been in the audience at its premiere, and you can certainly hear the connection between the two works. The principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Mark Kosower, has his instrument singing eloquently through both scores with the conductor, JoAnn Falletta, adding as an ‘encore’ the engaging Irish Rhapsody, an extended score on themes from his birth place. Excellent playing, superb sound quality. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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