"If one desires music soothing to the ear, brimming with expressive sentimentality, look no further than Evening Songs. Naxos’s soigné release of selected songs derived from Frederick Delius and John Ireland is worthy of repeat sojourns, the perfect antidote for tranquility. Renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber…deftly reinterprets what must have been going on in the minds of Delius and Ireland. Set against John Lenehan’s evenly tempered harmonics, Lloyd Webber draws his strings with sincere and transparent passion, making maximum use of each note to evince the proper amount of sincere reflection. Julian Lloyd Webber arranged most all of the album’s 21 pieces, and they performed with wonderful translation excepting Evening Song and In Summer Woods both of which are played by wife, Jiaxin Cheng. In particular, Webber delivers a beautifully arranged “Serenade” from the incidental music to Hassan ... Quietude dominates Evening Songs, and this Naxos recording will encourage listeners to explore other musical marvels emanating from both British-born composers."
Christie Grimstad - ConcertoNet.com - August 2012
KDFC Radio - CD of the Week
"...The renowned British cellist Julian LLoyd Webber (brother of Andrew) has been a fan of the English composers Delius and Ireland since his student days at the Royal College of Music but it only occurred to him recently to arrange their songs for cello and piano. The two composers’ lifetimes overlap a bit and Delius (1862–1934) was a definite influence on Ireland (1879–1962). Their songs have in common an easy melodiousness with the main vocal lines transferring nicely to the cello. Lloyd Webber is joined by pianist John Lenahan and on two tracks by his wife, cellist Jiaxin Cheng."
KDFC Radio - September 2012
"A nice idea; songs by John Ireland and Frederick Delius arranged for cello and played by JLW. The transcriptions work well and are played with feeling, tenderness, good tone and love. Ireland’s Sea Fever and The Holy Boy are here; indelible melodies. There’s good range included. This release is not just for cellists; it’s good to have a different light shone on these ‘settings’, which still sing. Jiaxin Cheng (Mrs JLW) performs on two tracks and John Lenehan is a sensitive pianist. The sound is nicely tangible while allowing space around the instruments."
Colin Anderson - HiFiCritic - March 2012
"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 (all bar three), with the legerdemain of John Lenehan’s delicate accompaniments. Hearing the songs of both composers without the texts, and played with such attention to contour and gradation, reminds us just how masterly and diverse both composers were in their art of the solo song ... this is an ideal collection to while away the summer evenings"
Jeremy Dibble - Gramophone magazine - March 2012
CD of the Week
"...By way of a tribute to both composers, cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber is releasing this sumptuous new album of cello and piano miniatures, for which he’s accompanied by John Lenehan."
John Suchet - Classic FM - January 2012
**** - Good
Remy Franck - Pizzicato magazine - May 2012
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