The real high of the evening was Sol Gabetta’s superb reading of the Schumann Cello Concerto. This is a late work, and immediately we were in a very different world from the Takemitsu, the players of the orchestra adjusting at once. Sol Gabetta is a radiant soloist, her legato superb, her sense of the elusive, the enigmatic late Schumann making the best possible case for this piece. Her sound is generous, often glorious, but always serving the sometimes complex ongoing argument. Added to this, Paavo Järvi is one of the finest of musical partners, those interjecting orchestral chords always on point.
A rather nice aspect to Schumann’s writing is the use of a solo cello from the orchestra to act in duet with the soloist in the central ‘Langsam’; the soloist’s stopping at this point further enriches the textures. The bright and brash finale (which also holds the cadenza) was a triumph for both soloist and orchestra, Järvi finding both grandeur and, later, elfin lightness. The orchestra is also complicit in the cadenza, here another testament to the connection between Gabetta and Järvi.
- seenandheard.com, 25.02.2020