Sol Gabetta

Cantabile

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    6
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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.

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