Bloch: Schelomo; Voice in the Wilderness; Caplet: Épiphanie; Ravel: Kaddish

Reviewed on Mon 27 Jan, 2014

In the accompanying booklet cellist Raphael Wallfisch significantly recalls his boyhood infatuation with Emanuel Feuermann's legendary and utterly electrifying 1940 recording of Schelomo, and it's some measure of his achievement that the present commanding interpretation of Bloch's riveting 'Hebraic Rhapsody' conveys an emotional clout and spiritual dimension that recall that highest of benchmarks. Indeed, both here and in the same composer's scarcely less rewarding Voice in the Wilderness Wallfisch's partnership with his gifted son Benjamin and an audibly fired-up BBC National Orchestra of Wales yields consistently engrossing, characterful and fervent results. Ravel's Kaddish receives comparably understanding treatment and is preceded by an exotic rarity in the shape of André Caplet's Épiphanie, a most beguiling, captivatingly inventive canvas from 1923-24 incorporating elements of (among other things) Ethiopian folk music. A truly splendid release, this, faithfully engineered in Cardiff's Hoddinott Hall, and movingly dedicated by Wallfisch père et fils 'to the many members of our family that perished in the Holocaust'.
–Andrew Achenbach