Visit Cello Classics on Facebook

Downloads of most of our tracks are now available.

All Cds now £10 (plus VAT if applicable).
LOWER Postal rates worldwide.
Full details.



"Technically....outstanding. Comberti's tone is clean and even, his phrasing impeccable."

Gramophone   October 2001

"Cellist Comberti has an excellent tone, and clearly has mastered this music. Boccherini's cello sonatas deserved to be discovered by all those who enjoy post-baroque music."

MusicWeb   July 2001

"The three later sonatas on this disc are world premiere recordings and are particularly rewarding compositionally. Comberti brings great flair to these performances which sparkle with vitality, each movement being sharply characterised. The phrasing is tastefully conceived, with a pleasing elegance and grace, coupled with a vivid awareness of dynamics. In addition the recording quality is particularly clear, which suits the repertoire and makes this a thoroughly enjoyable CD."

Joanne Talbot   The Strad   August 2001

"Between the mercurial movements, such as Frescobaldi¹s Toccata, we can enjoy Gorokhov¹s smooth and lyrical qualities in the slow movements, the elegance of the Adagio in Locatelli's Sonata being of rare beauty. His bowing technique is so wonderfully fluid, Weber's Adagio being just one of the examples of his seamless legato."

The Strad August 2001

"Especially good however is the trilogy of Popper showpieces in which Gorokhov shows himself a deftly spirited advocate. A promising start for a new label that’s certain to excite cello devotees, and whose promised historical bias should also have general wider appeal."

Michael Jameson, BBC Music Magazine August 2001

"Cello Classics (an offshoot of Clarinet Classics) have come up with a CD of rare Emanuel Feuermann recordings, including dazzling virtuoso performances of pieces by Popper and Sarasate as well as Feuermann's very last recording, the slow movement from Victor Herbert's cello concerto (with piano). The sound quality varies but the playing combines seductive tonal lustre with outrageous dexterity. The Popper in particular parades so many notes in such quick succession that you would  never expect them all to register accurately. And they do!"

Gramophone   August 2001

"Played like this, with Feuermann's intensely "speaking" quality, addictive beauty of tone, expressive agility of mind and effortless virtuosity, Tchaikovsky's Valse Sentimentale, Sgambati's Serenata Napoletana, Sarasate's Zapateado and Popper's Spinning Song leap from the salon to the stars."

Paul Driver   Sunday Times   5th May 2001

"The lightness of his cross-string bowing at the top of the instrument in Popper's Spinning Song is quite awe-inspiring ...."

(Chopin's Nocturne in E flat)..."graceful phrasing, portamentos and expressive moments of double-stopping really demonstrate the way in which he could charm audiences with his playing."

"Helena Binney and Sarah Butcher are a fabulous team. They make the best possible case for music that probably wouldn't normally even make it into the second division, but here sounds like premiere league material. Bravo!"

Julian Haylock   International Record Review   September 2002

"(This) collection provides an impressive variety of cellistic possibilities, with both lyrical and dazzling playing. For instance, Ennio Bolognini's own composition - Serenata del Gaucho - demonstrates what pizzicato is all about, while the bold and heroic melody in Emmanuel Moor's Prelude is admirably served by Zara Nelsova's glorious tone qualities. Equally impressive in their technical wizardry are Arnold Földesy - Popper's pupil - who is near to arrogant with his fluent accomplishment of of the master's Spinning Song, while Alexandrer Gotgelf's rendition of Shaporin's Scherzo is technically awesome. of the more recent items, Alexander Rudin sparkles in the fiendishly difficult transcription of Rimsky-Korsakov's Fantasy on Le Coq D'or recorded in 1983. With recordings stretching from 1916 to 1997, the sound quality is variable but the plethora of gold nuggets makes this an interesting CD."

Joanne Talbot   The Strad   March 2002

The sound of an ensemble of cellos can be truly mesmerising and it is astonishing that the genre does not enjoy greater popularity.
Is this disc is representative of the repertoire for cello quartet. If so it would appear that it has primarily been distinguished cello virtuosi of the past who have until now been alert to the possibility of four cellos assuming the traditional roles of the two violins, viola and cello of the conventional string quartet instrumentation.

Sebastian Comberti negotiates the stratospheric and virtuosic demands of the first cello part with venerable assurance and aplomb. The inner parts prove to be as dynamic as they are incisive and the bass line is firm, compelling and sonorous.

The Konzertwaltzer begins darkly and with menacing intent, until the first of Comberti’s audacious, but expertly executed, ricochets ushers in a truly spirited and compelling dance, which stunningly fulfils every extreme challenge.

Too often the myriad compositions for cello ensemble merely receive casual performances in informal settings. Cello Classics and the cellists of The London Mozart Players have taken their palpable joy a step further here and provided the connoisseur and music lover with a benchmark recording of some of the classics of the repertoire.

Music Web 2005

"Daniil Shafran (1923 - 1997) was a staggering player, whose agility - witness his near impossible feats of virtuoso athleticism in the central Allegro Giusto of the Prokofiev - was positively violinistic in its fearless velocity. This, combined with a musical intensity and independence of thought, resulted in performances of breathtaking authority and interpretative near-meltdown. If Shafran's white-hot reading of Prokofiev comfortably survives comparison with Rostropovich's two commercial accounts, his Kabalevsky (of which he was the dedicatee) is finer still - a fitting companion to his classic première recording of the first Concerto on Revelation, also with the composer conducting. Sulkhan Tsintsadze (1925 -1992) was from 1944, the cellist in the State Quartet of Georgia for which much of his earliest music was written. Typically for composers of this region, Tsintsadze tended towards long-breathed, Oriental-style melodies (Eastern European rather than Asian) with a well-developed ear for rhythm and instrumental colour. Shafran's performance works wonders in making music of less than top-drawer quality sound like a million dollars, despite a touch of distortion in the high-kicking Finale. The orchestra items demonstrate no such problems and have been most skilfully transferred. There are excellent annotations from Andrew Stewart."

Julian Haylock   International Record Review   August 2002

"Cello Classics, a specialist label masterminded by the London Mozart Players¹ principal cellist Sebastian Comberti, has exhumed three incredible performances for this Shafran tribute. This collection opens with a live 1961 Moscow Conservatory recording of Prokofiev¹s Sinfonia Concertante, under Rozhdestvensky. The performance is nothing less than electrifying, with Shafran¹s inflammatory virtuosity gripping from first note to last. Mandatory listening for cellists everywhere."

Performances: OUTSTANDING   Sound ***
Michael Jameson   BBC Music magazine August 2002

"Ysaÿe's sonata for unaccompanied cello, Op. 28, lies at the heart of this fine album, along with his Rêve d'enfant Op. 14, both wonderfully played by Raphael Wallfisch. But the opening Sonata in G by the French composer Guillaume Lekeu, dead in 1894 at the age of only 24, is a real gem worthy of rediscovery by this outstanding cellist, its predominantly pastoral qualities in stark contrast to the jaggedly animated Sonata in A of César Franck which gives both Wallfisch and his pianist, John York, a chance to show their true, gleaming mettle. A must for cellophiles."

Anthony Holden  Observer 15th December 2002

It is entirely appropriate that the person who inspired many of the younger generation of British cellists to take up the instrument in the first place, Jacqueline du Pré, is celebrated here by a recently discovered recording of Rubbra's Soliloquy, made in 1965 with the Newbury String Players under Christopher Finzi. It¹s a haunting account that captures a young player at the height of her powers, playing with a fervour and an intensity that remains uniquely cherishable. Listening to this outstanding collection has brought home to me more than ever that she was the central nexus point, the player who in many ways redefined what the cello was capable of.

" array of awesome talent.."
Highly recommended.

Julian Haylock International Record Review September 2004

Michael Jameson's extensive, painstakingly researched annotation leaves nothing to be desired and the transfers are first class. Cello fans should seek out this generous anthology without further ado.

Andrew Achenbach  Gramophone September 2004

Sebastian Comberti at Cello  Classics deserves a record  industry award for the care  invested in this "twofer" set  devoted to the work of 29 leading  British cellists. In addition to  securing licensing deal from  more than a dozen companies,  Comberti has also brokered the  premiere release of Jacqueline  Du Pré's 1965 performance of  Rubbra's Soliloquy, a substantial  work that suits her heart-on- sleeve style to perfection. Tracks  performed by John Barbirolli,  Beatrice Harrison and more  recent artists such as Steven  Isserlis and Tim Hugh add to the marketability of this important  release.

Music Week 3/4/04

The  cream of modern cellists  (Isserlis, Wallfisch, Baillie, Welsh, Watkins) can be heard  on the second of the two CDs.  A fascinating survey

Barry Millington  Evening Standard 20/4/04

Cello enthusiasts as well as young and aspiring players, Du Pré collectors and British music fans will find this set packed with discoveries; absolutely fascinating.

Rob Barnett    MusicWeb Recommended Recordings 2004

...this is thoroughly enjoyable  playing: elegantly phrased, warmly  sung and, especially in the Hummel,  full of crisp, quick-witted repartee.  
Performance  ****

Richard Wigmore  BBC Music Magazine March 2004

Sebastian Comberti and  Maggie Cole play with a great deal of vitality and nicely shaped  phrasing...
Isserlis's completion, drawing heavily on the B  flat major Andante Of the Violin Sonata K376, provides cellists with a  precious glimpse of what might have been and Comberti and Cole  imbue its simple melody with real Mozartian longing.

JANET BANKS Strad February 2004

...beautifully partnered on a delicious fortepiano by Maggie Cole...full of delightful surprises.

Denby Richards Musical Opinion September 2004

Rudin's purple tone is ample and rich in damask and satin. Rudin plays the Concerto with utmost poetic tenderness........
...tenderness is mixed with a sense of blood and sinew and flesh.

Music Web June 2004

The suppleness of Rudin's phrasing, his richness of tone, the variety of rhythmic pointing that he achieves in the sections (such as No. 2's headlong finale) all contribute to interpretations that both satisfy in themselves and raise the stature of these fine works .
Rudin offers the most refined and eloquent reading of the Concerto since Rostropovich's early classic from 1956 (EMI), with more control than Mischa Maisky's rather self-indulgent take on the piece(DG) but much greater warmth than Truls Mørk shows in his somewhat noncommittal account for Virgin.
There are good rival versions of both sonatas, but none quite equal these.
 If Rostropovich remains the benchmark in the Concerto, it is now only by the shortest of heads, and Rudin sets a new benchmark in the Sonatas.

Calum MacDonald
SOUND ****
BBC Music Magazine

The collector’s life can be rich in surprises. You think you’ve identified all the extant recordings by a favourite artist then someone somewhere finds a gem that no one knew about. Cello Classics Feuermann in Concert is a prime example of what I’m talking about, not only the revelatory CD (most recordings date from 1939) but a DVD track on which Emanuel Feuermann is seen in partnership with the pianist Theodore Saidenberg in music by Dvorak and Popper. To take the DVD first, Popper's Spinning Song sees this greatest of all cello virtuosos negotiate fleet-fingered runs at speed (some of them double-stopped) with a graceful nonchalance that recalls, maybe even surpasses, Heifetz. Dvorak's Rondo, Op 94, glows afresh as cosseted by that famously warm tone, a seamless effusion, vibrant, achingly expressive and yet never excessively  intense. The man you see on screen is a mite formal, quite expressionless (the perceived image of a bank manager) but totally assured. Watch with the sound off and from the visual evidence you'd hardly expect the sort of heart-tugging tone that you actually hear.

The audio disc is a knockout from start to finish, much of it occupied by music that Feuermann never recorded commercially. It opens with three separate studio takes of Feuermann in collaboration with Franz Rupp playing SiIoti's arrangement of the Adagio from Bach's Toccata,  Adagio and Fugue for organ, each slightly different to the next  -  including, in one case, a minor textual alteration. Popper's Papillon (1933) and Fauré's Après un rêve are brilliant and ardent by turns, while the Sarabande and Bourrées~es from Bach's Third unaccompanied Cello Suite (the second Bourrce virtually cries) offers a treasurable sampling of the Bach Suites we might have enjoyed had Feuermann survived the routine operation that killed him. He was just 39.

I've left the best till last - a New York live relay of Saint-Saëns's First Cello Concerto under Arthur Smallens. It's orchestrally rough around the edges but the solo playing - the confident attack, soaring lines, agility, lightning reflexes - this is Feuermann on a roll, and quite without equal. The original source (a very good one) was missing a crucial descending chromatic scale, which Steven Isserlis has provided, as good a momentary Feuermann soundalike as you'll find anywhere, the modern sound quality expertly matched by the chaps at the Classical Recording Company. As historical CDs go, this one has to be among the most significant that we've had in the last decade.

Rob Cowan - Gramophone October 2005

Raphael Wallfisch, the avowed champion of the unknown, the underdog and the deserving, in repertoire terms at least, and Cello Classics have teamed up here to deliver a disc which confirms a unique and laudable dedication to innovation and excellence, by both parties.
Raphael Wallfisch and John Yorke begin their performance with a powerful and convincing account of Czerny's authoritative transcription of Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata 0p.47 for cello and piano. .....a robust and turbulent first movement Presto, which maintains a compelling passion throughout.  The Andante con variazioni 2nd movement is invested with a beguiling tenderness and charm, with every nuance thoughtfully and fondly articulated. A Presto finale of searing intensity brings their performance to a triumphant and gratifying conclusion.

© Leon Bosch - Music Web March 2005.

Jean Balthasar Tricklir [1750-1813) was a significant cello pedagogue and an inventive composer who contributed much to the development of cello technique. His 13 surviving cello concertos are distinctly attractive works: they exploit  the instrument's full range and demand considerable technical facility and control. Alexander Rudin's artistry and formidable technical armour/ ore completely ot the service of Tricklir's music, which he plays with a judicious mixture of lyricism. expressive restraint and sheer panache. His accuracy in the higher registers of the instrument is particularly striking, and he integrates well with his small accompanying forces. Especially attractive is the opening movement of no.4, with its ample melodic content and punctuating silences .deftly conveyed. The folksy ŒScottish¹ finale of the same concerto is buoyant and graceful by turns: its phrasing remains affectionate. its contrasting moods are realised and its textures ore finely balanced, the horns coming through at just the right level. Rudin's approach to the operatic slow movements is one of tender lyricism that never loses momentum. The Adagio of no.6 is especially beautifully shaped, while that of no.5 is also notable for the soloist's self-accompanied recitativo secco cadenza, deftly dispatched. Apart from occasional flaws of intonation and ensemble within the small string group, the sympathetic orchestral contribution is suitably balanced and the recorded sound has ample bloom and resonance; the harpsichord sounds more like a fortepiono. Although few would claim especial depth for this music, these enjoyable performances make an excellent case for it.

Robin Stowell Strad August 2005


The combination of piano and strings is not always a happy one. The meeting of percussive and lyrical acoustic worlds easily produces a clattery overresonant grandiose effect. I rejoiced to find this reconstruction of the original version of Brahms' Piano Quintet, in which a second cello replaces the piano. It was made in 1946 by Sebastian Brown with only instinct to guide him, for Brahms destroyed the manuscript, but the result is convincing. The lyrical flow in this beautiful account is unimpeded, and one can relish a new richness and crispness of the inner parts. The slow introduction to the finale notably benefits from the use of sustaining instruments.

Paul Driver Sunday Times

The players of the Divertimenti Ensemble give both works the strongest possible advocacy and their enthusiasm for them is palpable in every bar. The recording has a superb sense of presence and ideal resonance for this kind of music. Certainly an intriguing disc.

Calum MacDonald International Record Review

A real find, this, recorded quite close and played with verve and just the right kind of sentiment by this experienced and expert chamber group.

You can therefore use this disc to do two things; to discover a vibrant and exciting forgotten composer and to encounter an old friend in new clothes.

Jonathan Woolf Music Web

This is an exceptionally fine disc. The notes are extensive and well worth a read on their own; I resolved to follow their lead and try to track down Max Pirani’s 1959 monograph on Moór. His cello works are necessarily reflective of strong influences and it would be wrong to pretend that they are masterpieces. But with performances this ardent we can wallow in the moment and relish the intensity of the music making.

Jonathan Woolf Music Web

Cd of the fortnight Classical Music

Stephen Paxton……..cello sonatas and the concerto in G abound with the odd arpeggio, tempo, or mood shift, often challenging the soloist, always stirring interest. Comberti and his accompanists are not found wanting

Sebastian Comberti’s notes explain the editorial principles and the decisions regarding performing practice. With the exception of the very affective solo slow movement, largo e sostenuto, of Op.4/6 (track 5), the lower stave is realised by a combination of a second cello and harpsichord. Paxton’s own cadenzas have been employed where they exist; otherwise Sebastian Comberti has composed his own. That I wasn’t sure which was which is testimony to the stylish credibility of the modern ones. Indeed, everything about these performances seems sensibly based and well executed.
With good recording - fairly close, but not too close - informative notes and an attractive booklet, this recording deserves the wide audience which I hope it receives.

Brian Wilson MusicWeb

Comberti's enthusiasm for the music spills over into the booklet notes, where we learn that Paxton himself is enjoying a new lease of life as a character in a new novel from Imogen Robertson (Headline). A breath of Gainsborough elegance.

Simon Heighes, International Record Review

The quest to locate an 18th-century concerto that will enrich the cello's repertoire continues. …..Throughout, Sebastian Comberti gives a tasteful and stylish account in this clear recording, ensuring we hear Zumsteeg in the best way.
Yet it is inevitable that when placed against Haydn's two masterworks, Zumsteeg's effort appears musically emasculated. Certainly Comberti seems even more persuasive in the Haydn concertos, bringing a delightfully natural, vocally informed delivery to the melodic lines. Eloquent in the D major Adagio, and incisively accompanied by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, he takes the ensuing Allegro at a gentle tempo with much evident joie de vivre. His also characterises the other movements of the C major work, which are performed with refinement and charm, and the central Adagio here is beautifully sustained. It's proving a good bicentenary for Haydn.

Joanne Talbot The Strad

Recording of the Fortnight Classical Music

Green's playing is nothing less than magnificent on every one of the pieces on this CD. . . consummate artistry. . . one of the great cellists of our time.

Fanfare - Nov/Dec 2013

The cello takes center stage on Jaguar Songs (Cello Classics), a robust and engaging recording of contemporary works by 51-year-old Venezuelan composer Paul Desenne. The gifted cellist Nancy Green, who studied with Jacqueline du Pré and has won numerous awards, plays all the parts: for solo, three, and four cellos. Desenne has a knack for blending 18th-century Bach counterpoint and 21st-century cello technique. The title work is a four-movement suite for solo cello. Desenne explains that in Amazonian mythology, the jaguar represents blood and death. Whether these visceral pieces are sculpted as soundscapes or dances, Green supplies immediacy and power to these performances.

G.C. All Things Strings