Sol Gabetta
drives BMW

Next Concert:

Sun 17.12.2017

Press

“It was a good night Wednesday for avid followers of the Mostly Mozart festival. The main event was the concert of the festival orchestra in Avery Fisher Hall, featuring the New York debut of the young German conductor Cornelius Meister and the Mostly Mozart debut of the Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta. It was preceded by a recital from the piano duo Anderson & Roe in the hall and followed by a Little Night Music recital in the Kaplan Penthouse, performed by Ms. Gabetta and the pianist Ilya Yakushev.

As if all that were not enough, listeners walking from Fisher to Kaplan were serenaded at the street corner by a lone saxophonist giving a surprisingly full account of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” Overture, which had also opened the orchestral concert.

Of the many wonderful moments throughout, the most surprising and delightful came squarely in the middle of the evening when the cellist, Ms. Gabetta, broke out in song. Ms. Gabetta — in my first encounter with her and probably also the first for most in the hall — had just given a splendid performance of Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C with Mr. Meister and the orchestra. Yes, it was agile and sparkling and all the things Haydn should be, but Ms. Gabetta also showed touches of temperament that hinted at a greater depth in her artistry. And it didn’t take long for that to appear in full force. Ms. Gabetta played a solo encore: an obviously contemporary piece that posed major technical and expressive challenges even before she started to sing a haunting vocalise in counterpoint to the cello lines.

The work, it turns out, was the Dolcissimo movement of a piece called “The Book,” by the Latvian composer Peteris Vasks, written partly in response to Ms. Gabetta’s request for a cello work involving voice. She is, no question, a better cellist than a vocalist, but her singing was perfectly adequate to contribute to a lovely and captivating experience.

Ms. Gabetta showed other facets of her rich musical personality, the sensational and the deeply passionate, in the late-night recital, in Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata in G minor; the “Fantasy on Two Russian Airs,” by the great 19th-century cellist Adrien-François Servais; and two encores (Chopin-Glazunov and Shostakovich). Mr. Yakushev was little short of heroic in Rachmaninoff’s pianistic thicket, as he had to be, and fine everywhere else.

The big offering in Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe’s preconcert recital was Brahms’s two-piano version of his “Haydn Variations.” They played well but seemed too eager to make points, with rhythmic adjustments and dynamic shifts. Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, in their incomparable Sony Classical recording of the work, show the virtue of just letting it unfold rather than trying to overshape it.

Mr. Anderson and Ms. Roe were entertaining in their own arrangements of Mozart’s Piano Sonata in A (K. 331), “Ragtime Alla Turca,” and of Astor Piazzolla’s “Libertango.”

Mr. Meister was most impressive with the orchestra, offering, in addition to the Mozart overture and the Haydn concerto, a compelling performance of Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony. The work of the orchestra’s woodwind principals was stellar.”

www.nytimes.com

- NY Times, JAMES R. OESTREICH, 06.08.2015