Magazine article Strings

Two of a Kind

Magazine article Strings

Two of a Kind

Article excerpt

"Most of the time I just [release] one album a year, but this was a little bit special," energetic and animated cellist Sol Gabetta says of her two latest albums, Prayer and The Chopin Album, released within a five-month period from last fall to this spring.

Prayer, Gabetta's latest album to hit the United States, is a collection of Jewish melodies and folk songs. "For me, it was something special because I had no real connection to this repertoire," says Gabetta, over the phone, just arriving back at her home in Basel, Switzerland, after a performance in Torino, Italy. "I had no idea if I would understand the language of [Ernest] Bloch, and I was a little bit afraid."

Gabetta first heard, and played, Bloch in 2006 with the Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, and started playing Bloch's "Prayer" as an encore in concerts. The CD, which took two years to make, Gabetta adds, finally came to fruition many years later after she felt she was better able to understand the repertoire, in part, from her Jewish friends and colleagues.

"The Jewish melodies from Bloch are beautiful, but the three pieces are too short for a CD, so I found various arrangements from other composers for cello."

Gabetta says. "It's a very beautiful thing-the poetry he wrote about Jewish life, language, and the culture. I think now that the CD is a very [complete] idea, and I'm very happy because it's the kind of CD that wasn't really planned from the beginning."

The album also features repertoire from Dmitri Shostakovitch's "From Jewish Folk Poetry" and Pablo Casals' "El Cant dels Ocells" (The Song of the Birds). …

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