ALISA WEILERSTEIN - SOLO 4785296
Accessible cello modernism stunningly selected and played.
Alisa Weilerstein is everything you'd want in a cello soloist: powerful sound, dyamite technique, intelligent interpretive personality . . . Most cellists, even most virtuosos, sound deoxygenated at the top of their range. Weilerstein sounds urgent. The contrast with the rich full resonance of her lower notes is extreme, and she knows how to use it . . . [Kodály / Cello Sonata]: the rest of the CD could be filler and I'd still want it for this . . . [Golijov / "Omaramor"]: at once soulful and gymnastic, pushing the cello all over ist range and falling unexpectedly and turn to jagged shards of sound . . . The disc's jaw-droppingly good out-of-left-field clincher is "Seven Tunes Heard in China" by the Chinese-American composer Bright Sheng. Weilerstein's playing is authorative throughout these pieces, but in the Sheng, she's revelatory. She manages to evoke the soundscape of Chinese traditional music -- using a bare timbre, micro-variations in pitch, feathery bowing that scarcely grazes the strings, and a whole suite of non-standard techniques -- while also making the most of the deep, flowing sound that only a cello can produce . . . well-chosen music, lively and imaginative playing, full of passion and a sense of fun . . . Get hold of Weilerstein's "Solo" disc. That's the one you want.
. . . [Weilerstein] clambers energetically into music of the past 100 years with four highly physical works . . . [Kodály / Cello Sonata]: an arresting physicality . . . a formidable programme . . .