Hyperion’s blossoming Romantic Cello Concerto series welcomes back German virtuoso Alban Gerhardt for this sixth volume. Henry Vieuxtemps and Eugène Ysaÿe are of course best known for their blistering pyrotechnics on the violin, but each of this eminent teacher-and-pupil pairing also wrote two works—little known today, alas—for cello and orchestra, and what a revelation they are. The two Vieuxtemps Concertos contain all the elements familiar from their famous violin counterparts—long-arched melodies alongside moments of outrageous virtuoso demands. The Ysaÿe works are shorter and make ideal companions.
Gerhardt rises to the formidable challenges presented by these composers. Sympathetic orchestral support comes from the Royal Flemish Philharmonic (compatriots of the two composers) and Josep Caballé-Domenech, making his Hyperion conducting debut.