Geoffrey Norris
The Daily Telegraph
February 2015

Neither of these two cello concertos by the nineteenth-century violin virtuoso Henri Vieuxtemps has survived into the regular repertoire, but the ardent championship of them by no less an artist than Alban Gerhardt reveals that they have been hiding their lights under bushels for far too long.

Vieuxtemps seems to have been able to enter the expressive and technical world of the cello with an instinctive ease comparable to that which he brought to his seven violin concertos: you only have to listen to the gorgeous tune in the slow movement of the First Concerto, deftly etched in with orchestral colour, to appreciate his sensibility, which is coupled in both concertos with a dynamic flair, testing bravura and fertile ideas.

Gerhardt plays them with affection and terrific aplomb, echoed by Vieuxtemps’s Belgian countrymen in the Royal Flemish Philharmonic under the spirited baton of the Spanish conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech. Eugène Ysaÿe, another Belgian, was a violin pupil of Vieuxtemps and, like him, was also drawn to the cello in his Méditation and Sérénade, which attractively complement the concertos here in performances of tender lyricism and palpable warmth.

The Daily Telegraph