Julian Lloyd Webber - Celebration
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BMG marks Julian Lloyd Webber's half-century by revisiting some of his memorable RCA recordings of the early Eighties. It's surprising that the agreeably tuneful concerto written for him in 1979 by Joaquín Rodrigo has not been more widely embraced by other cellists. Only now, some 19 years after its Royal Festival Hall premiere, has it found its way on to CD, though Lloyd Webber's performance is just as magnetic as I remembered from LP days, and BMG's new CD transfer is excellent. Disc 1 of this compilation also includes works by Villa-Lobos, Falla, Popper and others, and Lloyd Webber's nobly measured account of the Lalo Concerto has a degree of purposeful gravitas that commands attentive listening. However, the British works grouped on the second disc reveal Lloyd Webber's finest interpretative attributes, especially in a reading of the Delius Concerto that's much the finest since du Pre's, and arguably more plausible and engrossing for what it leaves to the imagination of the listener. Lloyd Webber's more introspective style comes closer to capturing the fleeting spirit of the work than does du Pre's full-on ardour, and the recording is again first class. A hearty birthday feast that's well worth investigating.
© BBC Music Magazine 2001
Top customer reviews
I sometimes see comments on the Internet by people saying he became famous only because he is the brother of Andrew Lloyd Webber. That is unfair and can't be true. It must have been very hard for him to establish himself as an international cellist, having the name Lloyd Webber. The age gap between the brothers is only about 3 years, I think. Their careers started pretty much simultaneously but they soon took very different directions. Surely they must owe some of their talent to the musical genius of their father, composer William Lloyd Webber, and to the musical environment they grew up in. But when we come to listen to Julian's recordings or live performances, whose brother or son he is is irrelevant, he is an extraordinary cellist who plays with impeccable accuracy (have you seen his performance of Karl Jenkins' Benedictus on Songs of Praise recently?) and incredible passion, which he communicates very well with the audience.