The two great works for cello and orchestra by Bloch, Schelomo and Voice in the Wilderness are amongst my very favourite to play. I grew up listening to the wonderful recording by Emanuel Feuermann and the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Stokowski, and long before I could play the piece knew every note from memory! Bloch is able to encapsulate the fervent nobility, grandeur, tragedy, and joy of the Jewish legend with unequalled pathos and skill. In Schelomo the cello takes on the main role of the voice of King Solomon,the orchestra creating the atmosphere and framework for the tale to be told. In Voice in the Wilderness, the cello provides obligato commentaries on the music set out by the orchestra in each piece. Andre Caplet’s Epiphanie is a masterpiece in subtle orchestration and atmospheric colour. The virtuoso cello solo this time tells the story of the Adoration of the Magi and celebration of the birth of Christ in an Ethiopian setting! Ravel’s profound setting of the Jewish prayer, Kaddish, ties the three main works together in its deeply felt contemplation. It is of great significance that I have recorded these amazing pieces with my dear son Benjamin. We would like to dedicate the recording to the many members of our family that perished in the Holocaust. Raphael Wallfisch, 2013
"...Bloch’s Schelomo is by turns devotional, majestic, introspective and dramatic, and the cellist captures all these facets in an astonishing portrait. The orchestra are in fine form under the soloist’s son, who keeps a clear head in a complex score, ensuring that every detail is in focus, the climaxes awesome... The delicate imagery of Epiphanie by André Caplet is a fine contrast to the Bloch pieces... The musical narrative is realised in a beautiful performance. Ravel’s Kaddisch, his deeply felt homage to Jewish music, carries an authentic ring and completes this memorable recording..."
Adrian Edwards - Gramophone magazine - June 2014
"This is a magnificent recording... it would be difficult to imagine more compelling performances than these... the couplings make the CD a most desirable issue. The recording quality is outstanding, offering the best-balanced sound I hav heard - live or on record - from Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff; this is of demonstration standard ... an eminently desirable disc, an absolute ’must’ for admirers of these composers and of cello playing."
Robert Matthew-Walker - International Record Review - May 2014
Performance ***** Recording *****
"...Wallfisch father and son revel in the score’s virtuosity presenting a performance that is both atmospheric and physically exhilarating."
Erik Levi - BBC Music magazine - April 2014