Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

David W Moore
American Record Guide, January 2014

Joseph Haydn’s well-known cello concertos are a pleasure to hear, particularly when played with this kind of enjoyment.

This one is a reading full of enthusiasm, and the Myslivecek is not easy to find otherwise. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Brian Wigman
Classical Net, December 2013

This is just the kind of endeavor that makes Cedille so special. You think you’re getting yet another recording of the Haydn concertos…but then they toss in a work by Mysliveček, and the game changes. Plus, it wasn’t an even playing field to begin with; the sound quality, artistic merit, and musical intelligence of this release instantly vault it to the top of its class.

…Wendy Warner simply owns these pieces. She plays with an incredible amount of richness and warmth, and she’s stunningly captured, too. She treats these pieces like the great works for her instrument that they are, and the result is pretty magical. She’s aided in a big way by the Camerata Chicago under Drostan Hall. They play beautifully, accurately, and without any of the thin or ugly sounds we so often hear from small ensembles today.

Both Haydn concertos have been marvelously served on disc, and I have several recordings I respect and admire. None sound quite this good sonically. And the Mysliveček concerto is a sizable bonus…It’s always good to delve into works like this, especially when convincingly presented as here. It also makes perfect musical sense and separates the warhorses for the listener. Cedille is one of the only companies in the industry with the guts to do this sort of thing, and it pays off. Entirely worth seeking out and enjoying forever; this may very well set the new standard for excellence in these pieces. © 2013 Classical Net Read complete review

Zan Furtwangler
Audiophile Audition, November 2013

…why should you consider Wendy Warner as your cellist of choice in recordings of these cello concertos? Because she is a wonderfully talented young musician who has performed successfully around the world with leading orchestras and conductors.

The Camerata Chicago was founded in 2003 by music director Drostan Hall. They are responsive to Hall’s direction which is careful and exacting.

…there are literally hundreds of recordings of these Haydn concertos. I doubt if there are many, if any, as good as this one recorded 24-bit digitally. Recommended! © 2013 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, October 2013

Cellist Wendy Warner adds to an already impressive discography with a CD of the two Cello Concertos of Joseph Haydn, paired with the Cello Concerto In C major by Josef Mysliveček…Drostan Hall leads Camerata Chicago in excellent orchestral support.

The Haydn concertos are relatively recent additions to the cello repertoire…The virtuosic cadenzas here are by Maurice Gendron and Emanuel Feuermann.

Mysliveček was a contemporary and acquaintance of Mozart, and known at the time mostly for his operas and concertos. His cello concerto is actually a transcription of one of his violin concertos and features a good deal of playing in the higher register.

Warner is a simply marvellous player, with great tone, lovely phrasing, and agility and technique to burn. She effortlessly holds our attention throughout a simply dazzling and delightful CD. © 2013 The WholeNote Read complete review

David Vernier, October 2013

…hearing this concerto will provoke nothing short of pure delight and appreciation for Haydn’s clever and catchy—and often virtuosic—thematic writing, buoyant rhythms,  and thoroughly entertaining interplay between soloist and orchestra. There’s a reason why the work is represented on more than 100 recordings in the current CD catalog. And Wendy Warner’s addition to that number is a stellar confirmation of its popularity to audiences and particular appeal to performers.

This work features even more brilliant bursts of virtuosic writing for the soloist—and Warner really digs in: you can just picture the flashing bow strokes, the swift, fluid motion of fingers, and a resultant musical enunciation that seems so easily and effortlessly produced, so absolutely natural, and so articulate and artful that you wouldn’t care if the tune were “Twinkle, twinkle little star”, you’d be just as impressed and satisfied. In fact, in view of the grand heap of Haydn cello concerto recordings, Warner’s playing places this one at the very top. © Read complete review

Rick Anderson
Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist, October 2013

The C major concerto featured here is a transcription of one of [Myslivecek’s] violin concertos, and it’s wonderful—as is the playing of cellist Wendy Warner and the Camerata Chicago, all on modern instruments. © 2013 Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist Read complete review

Hank Zauderer
My Classical Notes, October 2013

Cellist Wendy Warner and Maestro Hall give us a fine Haydn interpretation throughout the First Concerto. Warner’s playing sounds spirited and lyrical…it presents some passages that require virtuosic playing, which Ms Warner performs with ease, especially the long, singing Adagio.

The interpretation of the Second Cello Concerto is always brilliant and expressive with Ms. Warner’s passion and precision. © 2013 My Classical Notes Read complete review

Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, October 2013

My estimation of Chicago-based cellist Wendy Warner increases with each new release on the Cedille label. On this release, she plays three late 18th century works…that all make demands on the performer’s virtuosity and pay handsome dividends on it in terms of great music for her chosen instrument.

Haydn’s C major Concerto…[is] a grand showpiece, and Warner makes the most of it, including the wonderful opening-and slow-movement cadenzas by Maurice Gendron.

The Mysliveček is next. Again, Wendy Warner displays great style and flair in this work which makes such a worthy addition to the program… © 2013 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review

Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, September 2013

My last review of a Wendy Warner CD began this way: “Wendy Warner is one of our most intelligent, cultivated cellists, and after praising her superb recital of romantic pieces by David Popper and Gregor Piatigorsky, I was ready to lend an ear to whatever music she chose to offer next.” I should probably just paste that at the start every time I review a Warner album, because it’s still true of this excellent disc of Haydn and Mysliveček.

There’s an elegance and sheer class which makes it good, and then there’s Wendy Warner to make it really good. Her solo playing is always pretty, melodies given to her cello always unfold with stately charm, and the support from the orchestra is perfectly good. So’s the sound. Mysliveček’s concerto is a wonderful find, with a nobly sad-hearted grave slow movement and, peculiarly, a minuet instead of a finale. © MusicWeb International Read complete review

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, September 2013

Ms. Warner and Maestro Hall keep things humming along in proper Haydn-like fashion throughout the First Concerto.

Ms. Warner ensures that the Second Cello Concerto is always brilliant and expressive with her passion and precision. Equally passionate and precise is the Chicago Camerata, who provide admirably sympathetic support.

…in terms of content alone, the disc provides good value. The fact that the performances and sound are so very good makes the album almost irresistible.

Cedille producer James Ginsburg and ace engineer Bill Maylone recorded the music at College Church, Wheaton, Illinois in November, 2012. As usual from this source, the sound is excellent, smooth, natural, realistic. Yet there is plenty of transparency in the midrange, air around the instruments, quickness and impact in the transient attack, and a broad range in the dynamics. The cello sounds nicely placed just ahead of the rest of the ensemble, and it never appears strained. It’s one of the better-sounding recordings I’ve heard this year. © 2013 Classical Candor Read complete review

Kara Dahl Russell
The WSCL Blog, September 2013

No need to ignore the cover art here, the luscious beauty of the cellist equal the sound of her instrument. Warner really knows how to work a camera…Fortunately she works the cello even better, and we have gorgeous, traditional late Baroque/early Classical works recorded on this CD. She’s a “name” to keep an eye on, and a solid addition to your music library. © 2013 The WSCL Blog Read complete review

James Manheim, September 2013

This [release], from Chicago’s enterprising Cedille label, has several things to recommend it. One is the presence of the Cello Concerto in C major by Josef Myslivecek, composed in the late 1770s. Wendy Warner uses a bow from the early 19th century, and the Camerata Chicago is a small-to-midsized group at 25 players. The combination is unfamiliar but refreshing, and Warner and conductor Drostan Hall carry it off well, with careful balances. The focus is squarely on Warner, who is a very exciting player; even in this rather decorous music, her playing is full of lively little surges and surprises that keep the long outer movements going…this is a recommended recording for those who like Classical-era concertos done in the old concert-hall-sized way. © 2013 Read complete review

WQXR (New York), September 2013

Josef Myslivecek is sometimes seen as the missing link between Haydn and Mozart – an influence on the latter composer who also drew on the innovations of the former. Chicago cellist Wendy Warner and the Camerata Chicago take up Myslivecek’s Cello Concerto in C major, composed in the late 1770s and featuring highly syncopated fast movements and an unusually chromatic slow movement (the piece is an arrangement of a prior violin concerto). Using an 18th century cello and a 19th century bow, Warner applies a full, robust sound to all three of these well-mannered but stimulating works. © WQXR (New York)

Bob Neill
Positive Feedback Online, September 2013

Cellist Wendy Warner…plays the most exciting and expressive Haydn I’ve ever heard, truly. Neither classical, nor dramatic, nor mellifluous. Exciting. The music leaps eloquently from her cello and the crisp and clear Camerata Chicago are with her all the way. Her tone is equally rich and clear. She plays the cadenzas with great brio, almost as if she wrote them…

Wendy Warner…deserves to better known… © 2013 Positive Feedback Online Read complete review

Classic FM, September 2013

Cellist Wendy Warner…collaborates with Camerata Chicago to profile the much-loved cello concertos of Haydn, bringing her romantic sensibilities and great excitement to works that are usually played in a less expansive way.

Interspersed between these two concertos is a little-known one by Josef Myslivecek, a Czech composer who was much admired by Mozart…it has a very unusual slow movement which is quite a discovery. © 2013 Classic FM Read complete review

Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), August 2013

American cellist Wendy Warner, a protégé of Mstislav Rostropovich, and Camerata Chicago, conducted by its British-born founder, Drostan Hall, present Haydn’s essential C Major and D Major Cello Concertos. They are harmoniously paired with a genuine rarity: the C Major Cello Concerto of Czech composer Josef Mysliveček, a Haydn contemporary. © 2013 WFMT (Chicago)

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group