I recently heard Gabetta in concert, and she is electrifying. One of the pieces she played, a Beethoven work for piano and cello, familiar to me, I'd already heard, enjoyably, at another live concert, and with a different cellist. All I can say, with Gabetta, is that I felt that in fact, I'd never heard the piece before, because it suddenly made total sense in a way I hadn't previously experienced. Cello and piano were having a conversation with each other which was fresh, dynamic and new. She brings warmth, vibrancy, intelligence, passion, great musicality and heart into her playing.
As another reviewer has mentioned, in the first piece, the Hoffman, at times the cello has a sweetness, shimmer and shine more commonly found in the violin. The Haydn sounds - young! There's a freshness, a romantic lyricism to her rendition, a quality of innocence and joyousness. As at that live concert, listening to her is to smile, more and more with happiness that such music exists, and that someone can delight the listener afresh with it
This is a wonderful recording, Gabetta's cello itself has a gorgeous, lush, rich, warm tone; she clearly loves her cello, loves the music her cello sings and I can almost believe that her particular cello is a sentient creature with soul!
The Mozart piece feels a little like an `album filler', and is anyway a piece scored for the flute, here adapted for the cello. And it begs the question `why?' If Mozart scored it for the flute, that is where it is meant to be heard, played by flautist and orchestra, not by cellist and orchestra. Perfectly pleasant but not as immediately grabbing this listener as the other pieces, which are specifically scored for the cello. So lovely and right are the first two pieces that I'm unable to dock a star for what seems like a less inspired programming choice
I'm now busily acquiring more Gabetta recordings for my library.