Elgar Cello Concerto

Sol Gabetta becomes a front-runner in a great concerto

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Edward Elgar, Peteris Vasks, Ottorino Respighi, Antonín Dvořák

Genre:

Orchestral

Label: Red Seal

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Stereo

Catalogue Number: 88697 63081-2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Salut d'amour, 'Liebesgrüss' Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Sol Gabetta
Mario Venzago
Edward Elgar Composer
Gramata cellam Sol Gabetta
Peteris Vasks Composer
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra Sol Gabetta
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Edward Elgar Composer
Mario Venzago
Adagio con variazioni Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Mario Venzago
Sol Gabetta
Ottorino Respighi Composer
Rondo Antonín Dvořák Composer
Sol Gabetta
Mario Venzago
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Gramata cellam Sol Gabetta
Peteris Vasks Composer
(La) Capricieuse Mario Venzago
Edward Elgar Composer
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Sol Gabetta
Silent woods Sol Gabetta
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Mario Venzago
Antonín Dvořák Composer
Sospiri Mario Venzago
Edward Elgar Composer
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Sol Gabetta

Don’t let the image of an attractive lady on the CD booklet-cover fool you into thinking that the marketing people are up to their old tricks again, putting the face before the music. Beauty and talent can go hand-in-hand and Sol Gabetta’s Elgar Concerto is one of the best around, a heartfelt, tonally rounded performance, intimate and wholly at one with Mario Venzago’s generally subtle handling of the orchestral score. Check out the passage after the opening cadenza where the main subject is handed seamlessly between soloist and strings, or Venzago’s sensitive shaping of the woodwinds’ third idea or Gabetta’s nimble, catch-me-if-you-can Scherzo. Hers is a softly spoken presence, especially beautiful in those infinitely sad modulations that fall towards the end of the piece. It’s a real contender, on a par I would say with Natalie Clein (EMI, A/07), and the fill-ups, although relatively brief, are by no means insubstantial.

The opening of Sospiri, where Gabetta enters on a whisper and strings fall about her as if from above, deathly quiet, is extraordinarily effective and by adding a prominent brass presence to Salut d’amour Søren Barfoed (who arranged all three Elgar miniatures) lends the piece a rich extra serving of local British colour. La capricieuse loses none of its playfulness through being darker and deeper in tone than when played on the violin, and both the Dvorák pieces suit the programme’s overall mood of peaceful reflectiveness. I’ve harboured a fondness for Respighi’s Adagio con variazioni ever since I discovered André Navarra’s ardent Supraphon recording. Gabetta is gentler and generally more in tune than Navarra was, but she shows her technical mettle on the bonus CD of Pe¯teris Vasks’s striking solo piece The Book where she explores and exploits just about every virtuoso effect in the book which includes, in the Dolcissimo second movement, singing while playing. Strongly recommended.

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