Sol Gabetta
drives BMW

Next Concert:

Sun 17.12.2017

Press

With an animated programme of Wagner, Elgar and Beethoven, The Dresden Philharmonic displayed a clear, polished, yet warm and potent sound as the first visiting orchestra in the new season of Symphonies on Sundays at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.

Opening with the overture to Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nuremburg, the potency of the orchestra was pronounced, with a particularly strong brass section. Elgar’s Cello Concerto saw remarkable synergy within the orchestra, especially the strings, with the violas, then cellos playing very much with one voice. Soloist Sol Gabetta was incredible, as she gave a sparkling interpretation of Elgar’s score, taking full command of the music. As a performer, she exudes a magnetic presence, and it’s impossible not to be rapt by her virtuosity. Conducted by fellow cellist Michael Sanderling, the orchestra exquisitely echoed Gabetta’s sonorous, rippling melodies with poise and aplomb under his baton. The slow second movement was given a sublime serenity, before the final bars of the fourth movement brought the concerto to a fiery and exhilarating conclusion.

The orchestra’s distinctive sound was perfectly suited to Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony, the ‘Eroica’, as they brought a distinct personality to the varying moods and scenes illustrated in this colourful and dramatic work. The dark, foreboding funeral march of the second movement was given a grandiose sense of stature, combined with an arresting tension, while the jubilance of the third movement, the symphony’s Scherzo had a light buoyancy, with beautifully clear melodies from the oboe against an immaculately clean staccato accompaniment in the strings. Sanderling’s agile conducting evoked a vast array of musical moods, lending a distinct character to each of Beethoven’s twelve variations in the final movement.

- The Herald, Miranda Heggie, 12.10.2015