- Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33
- Cello Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 119
- Méditation, for violin & orchestra (or other arrangement) (from opera "Thäis")
- The Swan (from "Carnival of the Animals"), original (for 2 pianos & ensemble) and arrangements
If the photograph on the cover of this Zuill Bailey album makes you think that perhaps he is a performer who goes a little over the top in his affectations, you would not be far off the mark. This is not always the case, either in live performances or on his recorded contributions. Although his debut album again employs a somewhat rakish picture to set itself apart, Bailey proved himself in that album to be a master technician of the cello and skilled musical interpreter. This album, recorded live with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra under David Wiley, too often crosses the line between just overglamorizing a photograph and overdoing the romanticism of a piece of music. Bailey performs both of Saint-Saëns' cello concertos, the first of which is a relatively undemanding composition for the cello. Trying to make it more than it is, Bailey goes overboard with exaggerated dynamics, sliding shifts, and heavy-handed rubato. The second concerto, which is substantially more difficult, is performed in a more straightforward manner but is still rather overstated. The album closes with two sappy encores: Massenet's "Meditation from Thais" and Saint-Saëns' "The Swan" from "Carnival of the Animals." Even though the CD clocks in at just over 46 minutes, it's still a lot of saccharine playing that may leave some listeners yearning for a bit more substance.