While most Romantic and modern composers of cello concertos are known for writing one or two such works, Hans Pfitzner stands out for producing three: one early effort, which was not performed in his lifetime and thought lost, and two concertos from late in his career. The fourth volume in Hyperion's series, The Romantic Cello Concerto features Alban Gerhardt in confident performances with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, with Sebastian Weigle conducting, and the album does justice to these relatively obscure works. The Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. posth. (1888), shares a theme in common with the Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 52 (1943), so listeners can compare Pfitzner's treatment of it as a point of interest, even though the concertos are otherwise quite different in structure, content, and style. The Cello Concerto in G major, Op. 42 (1935) is perhaps the most interesting work of the program, because it shows some experimentation with a five-movement scheme and offers a lively mix of expressions and orchestral textures behind the demanding cello part. To close out the disc, Gerhardt and violinist Gergana Gergova play the Duo, Op. 45 (1937), which is openly engaging and tuneful, and seems to be the most fun selection to play.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. posth.|
|Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 52|
|Cello Concerto in G major, Op. 42|
|Duo, Op. 43|