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Cello Concertos - Released November 30, 2018 | Sony Music Classical Local

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique
Cellist Sol Gabetta and her almost-favourite pianist, Bertrand Chamayou, focus here on Schumann's all too rare repertoire for cello and piano. And once again, none of these pieces are intended a priori for cello, even though the original scores do propose the instrument as a possible alternative to the clarinet in Fantasy Pieces or the horn in Adagio and Allegro. It was only with Five Pieces in Folk Style that Schumann immediately thought of the cello! Here, Chamayou plays on a Viennese fortepiano by Streicher, dated from 1847 - three or four years after the composition of these three works. The Concerto for cello is accompanied by the Basel Chamber Orchestra, who also play on instruments from the romantic era, giving a more hushed yet incisive sound for the attacks. There’s more of an emphasis on the woodwind section as well, in contrast to the over-inflated string ensemble that so many modern orchestras offer up. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 5, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Hi-Res Audio
Argentine-Swiss cellist Sol Gabetta and the nationally unclassifiable Hélène Grimaud (who is listed first in the graphics here, presumably so that Deutsche Grammophon may capitalize on her former enfant terrible reputation) are both known for a tendency toward interpretations that push the extremes. Grimaud, in fact, has named Glenn Gould, still among the greatest extremists of all, as an exemplar. But, perhaps because the necessity of working in a duo puts a damper on strong manifestations of individualism, the two play it pretty straight on this, the first duo recording for both. Their interpretations in this diverse recital of Romantic and modern pieces, in fact, tend distinctly toward the quiet side. Although Grimaud has resolutely declined to classify herself as French (she is of North African Jewish background, spent some years in Florida, and then lived in Switzerland), this is a chamber recital in the classic French vein, with plenty of impeccably elegant passagework from both players and an absence of emphatic gesture even in the Drei Fantasiestücke, Op. 73, of Schumann, which are arch-Romantic pieces. The Brahms Sonata for piano and cello No. 1, Op. 38, gets a very light touch that does delightful things with the contrapuntal finale. The pair are clearly at home in the Debussy cello sonata, and really the only piece that falls flat is the concluding Cello Sonata, Op. 40, of Shostakovich, where the restrained performance misses the icy fear of the slow movement and the sarcastic snap that was so characteristic of the composer's early years. The sound, from the Philharmonie Essen hall, is a bit too spacious for the music but is up to the task of capturing clearly the fine detail work on exhibit here. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 17, 2014 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Exceptional Sound Recording
The fast-rising Argentine-Swiss cellist Sol Gabetta took the name of this recital from the "Prayer" movement of Ernest Bloch's From Jewish Life, which she has performed as an encore to great success and to an obvious emotional reaction from audiences. She went in search of similar music, found the path partially trodden by Pablo Casals, and put together a program that is actually quite novel -- of the music on the album, only Bloch's Schelomo (track 10) is really common -- and yet seems as though it's always been there. Tribute is paid to Casals not only in the emotive playing, but in the presence of El Cant dels Ocells (The Song of the Birds), one of several Casals compositions deserving of more frequent performance. The most unusual entry here, and perhaps the least successful one, is the selection of pieces from Shostakovich's song cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry, arranged here for cello and orchestra by Mikhail Bronner. It seems to be part of the general mood, but it's not; despite the theme, it's pure postwar Shostakovich, and Gabetta doesn't quite catch its note of tension. The much-recorded Schelomo, however, fares very well here, even with a switch in orchestra, venue, and conductor. As usual, a bracingly fresh program from this charismatic and intelligent cellist. © TiVo
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Cello Concertos - Released November 30, 2018 | Sony Music Classical Local

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
Looking at the program here, you may not have been aware that Robert Schumann contributed so many works to the cello repertory. He didn't; the two central works were originally written for other instruments and are presented here in versions for cello and piano. Nevertheless, there is no hint of the program being scraped together. This is because Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta has assembled a group of mostly late Schumann works (the Fantasy Pieces, Op. 73, might be called transitional) that aren't terribly common, probably have never been heard together before, and offer all kinds of insight into the late Schumann style that heavily influenced the young Brahms. The contrapuntally dense Konzertstück für Cello und Orchester, Op. 129, generally rendered as Cello concerto in English, was one such work; it's a thorny work that Schumann's contemporaries wouldn't touch, but Brahms would later write concertos that would similarly be accused of not favoring the soloist enough, but that continued to rethink the concerto form. The work gets a fine performance here, influenced by historical-instrument readings, from Gabetta and the Kammerorchester Basel under Gabetta's frequent collaborator Giovanni Antonini. Sample the first movement for an idea of the clarity they bring to Schumann's gnarly textures. Of course, another periodic aspect of the Brahms style was an interest in folk-like melodies, and here that's anticipated by a very rarely heard Schumann work, the Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102 (Five Pieces in Folk Style). This one is worth the price on its own; the five works move progressively away from folk models, and really the work is unlike anything else in the repertory. The two middle works are played well enough by the cello, and all in all this is a fine, even revelatory Schumann recital even if the cello concerto, recorded two years earlier than the other pieces, seems to inhabit a different sonic world. © TiVo
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Classical - Released November 4, 2016 | Sony Classical

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released November 4, 2016 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classical - Released February 13, 2015 | Sony Classical

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A "Chopin album" from a cellist is necessarily going to include the Cello Sonata, Op. 65, one of just a few works by Chopin for anything other than piano or voice. The young and highly charismatic Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta, who is carving out a niche not unlike that occupied by Jacqueline du Pré in the 20th century, and pianist Bertrand Chamayou deliver a grand version of this work, with big contrasts between the very deliberate slow movement and the commanding finale. It's a fine recording of the work, and it complements the other two Chopin cello-and-piano pieces, virtuoso items, which are also included. But another item making this recording stand out is the presence of some less common, older items. The cellist Auguste Franchomme was the dedicatee of the Cello Sonata, and he massaged, or in the latter case composed, the cello parts of the Introduction and Polonaise and the Grand Duo Concertante operatic fantasy heard here. He is represented at the end by a Nocturne of his own composition and by an ingenious arrangement of one of Chopin's piano nocturnes that works in material from another nocturne. This would not have seemed odd to a cellist of a century ago, who might also have played Glazunov's beautifully idiomatic arrangement of the piano Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 25, No. 7. This is another winner from a new star of the cello. Sony's big sound here complements Gabetta's aims beautifully. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released December 27, 2010 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Sony Classical

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The three soloists in the Beethoven Triple Conecerto in C major, Op. 56, are all attractive players in their own right, and they display lively, agile ensemble work here. Cellist Sol Gabetta in particular, emerging as a major star on her instrument, brings a lightness and clarity to the melodies of this work that is so often laden down with more weight than it can bear. (The work looks back to Beethoven's first period more than forward to the Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61.) But the real star is conductor Giovanni Antonini, leading the Basel Chamber Orchestra, who keeps the music moving along and brings it the transparency it so often lacks. The three overtures that bracket the Triple Concerto are much more than filler; Antonini brings an urgent trajectory to the Egmont Overture, Op. 84 (sample track 5), especially, with tempo shifts and razor-sharp instrumental turning points that perhaps take the piece away from the monumental tone of the Goethe play to which it is attached, but sound like no other version you've heard. If there's any complaint, it's that the Egmont Overture would have made a better conclusion than the Coriolan Overture, Op. 62, which is also well done but is a less self-contained piece. Impressive, even essential Beethoven that has absorbed the lessons of the historical-performance movement. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released September 1, 2011 | Sony Classical

Booklet
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Classical - Released August 18, 2006 | RCA Red Seal

Cellist Sol Gabetta possesses a beautifully singing tone, an evenly warm sound across the range of her instrument, precise intonation, and a large array of colors and techniques at her disposal. Yet her debut album fails to make a tremendous impact on its listeners. While sheer technique and virtuosity shouldn't win out over considerations of musical artistry, works like the Rococo Variations still require at least a little bit of sparkle and dazzle to maintain the excitement. Despite her amply beautiful sound, Gabetta's interpretation comes across as cautious and lackluster. The seven variations lack adequate distinction in tempo and character, with the third, fourth, and sixth variations being interminably slow. The Saint-Saëns concerto is slightly more vigorous in the first theme, but by the second theme the tempo once again comes almost to a standstill. Ginastera's Pampeana No. 2, heard here in a version for cello and string orchestra, is the most interesting and vivacious piece on the disc, but is still not as fiery as it should be. The orchestra accompaniment is similarly sluggish and the playing in the string section is often imprecise. While listeners will most likely enjoy Gabetta's rich sound, they may wish to look elsewhere for a more lively and varied performance of all the works heard here. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released September 3, 2009 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released September 4, 2008 | RCA Red Seal

For this album, Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta has chosen a program of arrangements of vocal music, the majority of which come from French opera. The result is a pleasant if plain recital. Most of the selections are straight transcriptions in which the cello simply plays the vocal line, accompanied by orchestra. Gabetta's playing is warmly lyrical but unexceptional, and not much personality or interpretive originality comes across. Even a showstopper like the Seguidilla from Carmen, which ought to be an opportunity for flamboyant display (and it's certainly treated that way by the singers) is blandly straightforward. The Prague Philharmonic, led by Charles Olivieri-Munroe, offers a supportive accompaniment. The piece that's the most fun is an arrangement of Largo al factotum from Il barbiere di Siviglia, made by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco for cello and piano. It is quite a departure from Rossini and is full of zany surprises, allowing Gabetta to display some virtuosity. The album is most likely to be of interest to listeners looking for mellow, restful selections that could be used as background music. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 12, 2011 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released August 28, 2008 | RCA Red Seal

Booklet
Although written only seven years after the first, Shostakovich's Second Cello Concerto could not be more different in content and temperament. Unlike the First Concerto, the Second is heard much less frequently in live performance and does not make album programs as often, either. Much less bombastic and overtly virtuosic, the Second Concerto is by far the more introspective and contemplative of the two cello concertos. While it may not bring audiences to their feet as quickly, the G major Concerto still has a great many positive features in the right hands. This RCA album features cellist Sol Gabetta performing with the Munich Philharmonic under Marc Albrecht. Technically, Gabetta's performance is quite clean; her interpretation, however, is somewhat bland and unimaginative. The biggest problem here is Gabetta's sound. While her tone is warm and pleasing enough, she just doesn't have a very big, projecting sound. Compared to the large orchestra force that she's up against, this means that too often her line is just lost in the shuffle. The orchestra appears to do all it can to get out of Gabetta's way without playing timidly, but her instrument just doesn't provide the power necessary to push through. By contrast, her performance of the D minor Sonata, with pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa, is much more musically satisfying as Gabetta appears more willing to take risks. Here, balance is not an issue and listeners can more fully appreciate her playing. © TiVo
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Classical - Released August 1, 2008 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released August 17, 2012 | Sony Classical

Booklet
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Concertos - Released August 13, 2009 | RCA Red Seal

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Classical - Released July 5, 2006 | RCA Red Seal

Cellist Sol Gabetta possesses a beautifully singing tone, an evenly warm sound across the range of her instrument, precise intonation, and a large array of colors and techniques at her disposal. Yet her debut album fails to make a tremendous impact on its listeners. While sheer technique and virtuosity shouldn't win out over considerations of musical artistry, works like the Rococo Variations still require at least a little bit of sparkle and dazzle to maintain the excitement. Despite her amply beautiful sound, Gabetta's interpretation comes across as cautious and lackluster. The seven variations lack adequate distinction in tempo and character, with the third, fourth, and sixth variations being interminably slow. The Saint-Saëns concerto is slightly more vigorous in the first theme, but by the second theme the tempo once again comes almost to a standstill. Ginastera's Pampeana No. 2, heard here in a version for cello and string orchestra, is the most interesting and vivacious piece on the disc, but is still not as fiery as it should be. The orchestra accompaniment is similarly sluggish and the playing in the string section is often imprecise. While listeners will most likely enjoy Gabetta's rich sound, they may wish to look elsewhere for a more lively and varied performance of all the works heard here. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 8, 2016 | Sony Classical