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Richard Harwood

 
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Debut Disc Reviews


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Richard Wigmore, The Daily Telegraph (July 7th, 2007)
"A former child prodigy, Richard Harwood, now 28, has almost inevitably been labelled "the greatest young cello talent since Jacqueline du Pré".

Living down the comparison, he has built his career steadily and unflashily. On this showing, he is a player of discernment and finesse, phrasing eloquently and conjuring a beautiful range of colours from his mahogany-toned 1682 Rugeri cello.

There is temperament in his playing, too, as you can immediately hear in the Beethoven sonata. Without short-changing the music's lyricism, Harwood and his excellent pianist Christoph Berner give an unusually fiery, sinewy performance.

In the Chopin sonata, the first movement balances elegance and romantic ardour, while the tarantella finale dances with thistledown delicacy.

In between the serious business we get four bonnes bouches, including a coruscating performance of Popper's Elfentanz. A black mark to EMI, though, for airbrushing Berner's name from the front cover."

 

Helen Wallace, BBC Music Magazine (February 2007)
"an articulate musician with zest, spontaneity, technical assurance and a lovely sense of line......a major talent."

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Janet Banks, The Strad (February 2007)
"Noticeable from the solo opening of Beethoven's op.69 is the voluptuous shaping of Harwood's phrasing - no half measures here. His playing is hard to beat for sheer beauty of tone."

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Jessica Duchen, Classic FM Magazine (February 2007)
"Richard Harwood's cello recital does indeed offer plenty to enjoy......Harwood and Berner display fine duo partnership and strong, intelligent musical instincts."

 

Michael Dervan, The Irish Times (January 26th, 2007)
"The young English cellist Richard Harwood has chosen wisely for his calling-card debut CD for EMI. He clearly has a hand-in-glove musical relationship with his pianist, Christoph Berner. And he shines in all the repertoire he's chosen, major sonatas by Beethoven and Chopin, given with ardent grandeur and generous lyricism, and a clutch of encore pieces delivered with a quality of finish that appears to come from superb technique allied to deep affection. Expect to hear a lot more from both of these performers."

 

Anthony Holden, The Observer (January 14th, 2007)
"With all the finesse, poise and virtuosity of a star in the making......He displays a fresh insight, effortless musicianship and a confidence belying his years."
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Geoff Brown, The Times (January 12th, 2007)
"A terrific CD debut."
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James Leonard, allmusic.com (January 2007)
"With his rich but clean tone and strong but fluent technique, it's clear that English cellist Richard Harwood spent time in Vienna studying with the great Heinrich Schiff. Restrained but deeply expressive, intelligent but profoundly soulful, virtuosic but less concerned with showing off his talent than with delving into the music, Harwood is imbued with the spirit of the central European tradition of selfless music-making."

 

Duncan Druce, Gramophone (January 2007)
"Splendid playing from this young cellist in a debut of distinction."

"...from the start we can hear how Richard Harwood's magnificent sustained tone is malleable enough to bring out the force of each melodic inflection, and Berner succeeds in giving a meditative, poetic character to every gesture."

"The four short pieces are played with true feeling and, in the Popper, exceptional, precise brilliance. The Potton Hall recording has a warm sound and natural clarity. For this fine young cellist, it's an auspicious start to what I'm sure will be a distinguished career in the studio."

 

Paul Sizer, Muso (December 06 / January 07)
"Effortlessly natural."

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Customer Reviews (source: emiclassics.co.uk)

George Clifford - 13/09/2007
"This is one heckuva Debut!! Berner & Harwood make for a winning duo throughout this different and delightful program. Kudos to Arne Akselberg for superior sonics that invite a good wallow in Harwood's incredibly opulent, fulgent tone. All in all, the most enjoyable cello disc of the past year."

 

Jean - 02/02/2007
"The warmest richest sound I have ever heard from a cello, coupled with Richard's outstanding musicianship and wonderful interpretation make this a real "must have" CD."

 


Customer Reviews (source: iTunes)



 

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