Singapore National Youth Orchestra / Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor
Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore in November 2014
"Anyone who has heard her stunning CD recording of Camille Saint-Saens's two cello concertos will attest that she is even more impressive in live performance [...] In Saint-Saëns's First Cello Concerto In A minor, the tone she coaxed from her 1777 "Simpson" Guadagnini was rich and full-bodied, immediately putting her mark on the single-movement work performed without breaks. The virtuosic and fast hairpin turns encountered at the beginning and close of the concerto were met with lightning reflexes, requisite of this showpiece, a testament to her finely-honed technique. Even in the quieter bits, her playing was always transcendent and unfailingly beautiful."
Chang Tou Liang, The Straits Times
World Premiere of Tavener’s Flood of Beauty
September 2014, Barbican, London
"An extended cello solo separated each of these five cycles, and without doubt these meditative passages, played exquisitely by Natalie Clein, provided the highlight of the piece. The slow-moving rhapsodising, beginning in the highest register and gradually descending to the lowest, [...] provided blissful relief and refreshment from the overwhelming sound of the poem’s setting."
David Fay, Bach Track
"... the cello solos that end each of the five cycles [were] beautifully played by Clein."
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
"... the soloists [...] pitted themselves tirelessly against the combined Britten Sinfonia, Britten Sinfonia Voices and New London Chamber Choir."
John Allison, The Daily Telegraph
Saint-Saëns (Cello Concertos Nos 1 & 2 and other works by Saint-Saëns)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Manze/Antje Weithaas (violin) (Hyperion CD 68002)
"It is the light airiness of Natalie Clein's approach that works so well here [...] she finds a golden timbre and fleet elegance [...] This is as close as you'll get to musical champagne; I've a feeling Saint-Saëns would have approved [...] Clein conjures magic [...] Clein's disc comes highly recommended."
Helen Wallace, BBC Music Magazine **** Concerto Choice
"...this Hyperion programme has much going for it, not least in that it features the mature, sensitive artistry of Natalie Clein [...] In La muse et le poète Clein is in intimate conversation with violinist Antje Weithaas, and the shorter pieces testify both to her lissom technique and to her lyrical allure."
Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone
"Hyperion’s Romantic Cello Concerto series reaches its fifth release with this adventurous programme devoted to music by Saint-Saëns. These, from Natalie Clein and the BBC Scottish Orchestra on top form, are certainly memorable crisp and nicely nuanced performances and are comparable with the best."
Ian Lace, Musicweb International
"The Saint-Saëns CD is full of beautiful performances. There is a real sense of chamber music playing throughout, which is part of Clein’s conception of the composer’s First Concerto."
Ariane Todes, Sinfini Music
"A new recording by Natalie Clein is always an event [...] and this one finds her on top form. [...] this is exciting stuff with a real sense of happening [...] Her C-string melody [...] is followed by the sweetest ascending harmonic scale I have ever heard [...] The beauty and freedom of Clein’s playing in the first movement’s three solo episodes and in the poignant Andante sostenuto is matched by her technical confidence and strong tone. The Allegro appassionato is dazzlingly thrown off."
Janet Banks, The Strad
"This is a first-class recording, the fifth in Hyperion’s series of Romantic cello concertos. Anybody wanting both Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concertos and La muse et le poète really doesn’t need to look any further. Natalie Clein is a comprehensively gifted player who performs these pieces with an ideal combination of warm-hearted expressiveness and astonishing technical ability. [...] Clein plays it [the Second Cello Concerto] with all the requisite vigour and virtuosity and Manze and his orchestra are outstanding partners. [...] The Performance [of Saint-Saëns’s double concerto for violin, cello and orchestra] by Antje Weithaas and Clein is just about ideal."
Nigel Simeone, International Record Review
"Contemporary British cello virtuoso Natalie Clein traverses the music of Saint-Saens with easy aplomb and lyrical freshness."
Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition ****
"British cellist Natalie Clein, a former BBC Young Musician of the Year, crafts a gorgeous tone above all the surface glitz and display [...] Clein is joined by German violinist Antje Weithaas in The Muse and the Poet (1910), a lovely double concerto in all but name. Here, both instruments resonate as one sublime whole."
Chang Tou Liang, The Straits Times *****
Moscow Philharmonic / Yuri Simonov, Yuri Botnari / Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1
May 2014 Tour
"Interspersed was Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto, delivered with unremitting energy and impassioned line-unfolding by soloist Natalie Clein. Clein, for all her young age still, is becoming the elder stateswoman of the cello, much as Mitsuko Uchida has become of the piano. I approve wholeheartedly. She has such a strength of tone, such bowing dexterity, such insight into whatever she is interpreting. Her Elgar is very special; I must hear her in Dvorak again soon."
"Soloist Natalie Clein immersed herself completely in the emotional fabric of this evocative work. Clein’s winning technique and approach that was both fierce and tender, made for a searingly beautiful performance."
"Natalie Clein entered on the thrilling roller-coaster ride with relish, plunging into the depths of despair one moment and exploding with dance-like, manic energy the next."