GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: B_cereus on September 21, 2008, 02:29:51 PM

Title: Victor Herbert (1859-1924)
Post by: B_cereus on September 21, 2008, 02:29:51 PM
Hello :)

I had never heard this composer before but read recently that his cello concerto was the inspiration for Dvorak's.

Is there a good recording of Herbert's cello concerto and how great was he?
Title: Re: Victor Herbert (1859-1924)
Post by: Guido on September 21, 2008, 03:01:21 PM
I do not kow much about his output, which I think is principally operettas, but I have heard both cello concertos. Herbert was a highly accomplished cellist and I believe that he played the solo part himself on the occasion that Dvorak (his friend) heard the piece.

The First concerto is very rarely or never played - was fairly recenty unearthed and recorded by Lynn Harrell. It's quite nice actually - not up to the level of the second concerto perhaps, and certainly not Dvorak's autumnal masterpiece, but a nice romantic romp all the same!

The second concerto is the one that was the inspiration for Dvorak's and it is occasionally given an airing, and is learned by a lot of conservatory students, especially in America. It is technically very difficult. It has a certain luminosity and drama that is quite attractive - the thing that seems most similar to Dvorak's work is the prominant use of woodwinds, though certain little touches in the scoring are strongly remiscent here and there. A lot of it is rather showy and the drama is rather operatic, but the central slow movement is quite beautiful.

If you want to hear these piece, I really recommend the Harrell CD actually as it contains both concertos and a few other pieces. Yo-Yo Ma has recorded it coupled with a splendid account of the Dvorak concerto. Dvorak's concerto is clearly a superior to both pieces though...
Title: Re: Victor Herbert (1859-1924)
Post by: B_cereus on September 22, 2008, 02:42:20 AM
Thanks Guido. I will look out for the Harrell or Ma recordings. :)