Last year I briefly but very enthusiastically reviewed the Dutton Epoch release of Lionel Sainsbury’s Violin Concerto. The review actually brought me into contact with the composer, and we were able to meet in London and attend a concert together. At that time, he told me that Dutton would be bringing out a recording of his Cello Concerto, with cellist Rafael Wallfisch and the RSNO under Martin Yates. I have been very anxious to hear it and wondered if it would meet the high standards of the violin work. The verdict is in: it does. This is another open-hearted, totally accessible, and immensely appealing composition. Few composers anchor what they do so completely in gorgeous melody. Sainsbury sets up an exclamatory, endearing theme and then discourses upon it in a way that does not tire. The results, animated by an energetic rhythmic pulse, are exhilarating. There is something unabashed about this music in its emotional directness - a kind of joyful innocence, a generosity of spirit. The final allegro dances off in a spirited jig. Wallfisch digs in, partnered by the Royal Scottish forces. It is no small attraction that the Sainsbury work is paired with the John Foulds Cello Concerto (CDLX 7284). If you wish to dispel gloom, to be stirred in your heart, to move to music even if you are sitting in your chair – try the Sainsbury concertos.
: Lionel Sainsbury & John Foulds: Cello Concertos