For this 2014 release on Nimbus Records, cellist Raphael Wallfisch and his son, conductor Benjamin Wallfisch, perform works by three modern composers who sought ethnic musical influences outside the conventional Western classical ethos. For Ernest Bloch, the composer of Schelomo and Voice in the Wilderness, middle-eastern scales and Jewish folk music were frequent sources of inspiration. This rich vein of material was also a powerful influence on Maurice Ravel, whose Kaddish has a similar exotic flavor. André Caplet's Epiphanie (d'après une légende éthiopienne) doesn't share an obvious melodic origin, yet the coloring he gave to his orchestration suggests the same interest in exoticism and impressionism that Bloch and Ravel shared. Raphael Wallfisch's passionate playing is the focus of the album, and the close microphone placement keeps him at center stage, so his rich and resonant lines are always heard above the orchestral accompaniment. Even so, the vibrant BBC National Orchestra of Wales receives superb audio coverage, so nothing is lost in the recording. Considering that all the pieces call for atmospheric effects and delicate dynamic balances, this is clearly an achievement for Benjamin Wallfisch, who brings the best out of his musicians.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Voice in the Wilderness|
|Epiphanie (d'apres une légende éthiopienne)|
|Schelomo, Rhapsodie hébraïque|