Review for Schumann Cello Concerto with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Portsmouth
The magic was also in the baton of principal conductor Kirill Karabits, achieving both precision and long, floating melodic lines, and it was in an orchestra showing no sign of end-of-term weariness – and in the playing of Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey.
His mastery of colouring in Schumann’s Cello Concerto was as evident as his fascinating shaping and colouring of musical phrases and sentences.
And his encore was as beguiling as it was bizarre.The News 02/05/14
Interview in the Dutch newspaper ‘Het Parool’, The Netherlands
Rave Review for Lalo/Saint-Saens CD, UK
Pieter’s Lalo/Saint-Saens CD is the disc recommendation of the month in The Strad Magazine’s August edition.
‘…Pieter Wispelwey appears on this disc as a cellist in total control of his instrument…’
Review for new CD of Lalo and Saint-Saens Concerti in The Telegraph, London
‘…Wispelwey’s mellow tone and mellifluous phrasing colour the music with exquisite refinement and subtle shading…’
Review for Bach in Canberra, Canberra
‘…Hearing Wispelwey’s performance of the first three Bach suites for cello was a musical experience of a lifetime…’
Review of the Lutoslawksi Concerto with Sydney Symphony and Adès, Sydney
‘…Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski composed his cello concerto (1970) for Mstislav Rostropovich and the solo part is fearsomely challenging. Opening with a long cadenza, the cellist then rarely draws breath. Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey was a commanding soloist, displaying scintillating virtuosity and unflagging stamina. His lean, sinewy tone suited the music’s character while rapid-fire passagework and the wide range of instrumental effects were executed with clear articulation. Wispelwey and his colleagues realised the concerto’s combative and conversational duality with precision and intensity…’The Australian 03/05/13 - Murray Black
review of the Bach suites in Stereo magazine, Germany
review of the Bach Suites CD in The Telegraph, UK
interview/article on the Bach Suites, germany
For 2 Haydn Concerti with RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin
Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey presents himself as a fearless musician. Two concertos instead of one? No problem. Leave out the conductor? That’s fine, too. And follow up the two concertos with a late night solo performance? Whatever you like.
On Friday, Wispelwey played and directed Haydn’s two cello concertos with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. As director, he didn’t seem to do much except sit centre stage and play. But, from time to time, he leaned a bit this way or that, curved the air with a hand gesture, swivelled a little, or leant backwards and raised a foot.
The effects were immediate, and sometimes dramatic. It was as if, musically speaking, the orchestra had taken to the gym, lost a few pounds, toned up its muscles, and was in unusually lithe and responsive form…
…The internal balances were rather less competitive than is often the case when the NSO tackles 18th-century repertoire, and there was, as a consequence, a welcome increase in internal clarity.
Wispelwey treated the entire range of his instrument as if it were home territory, moving around the exposed upper reaches as freely as the fuller-toned depths. The ease of movement had a transformative effect, making passages that often seem effortful sound entirely natural….
…The result was that both soloist and orchestra seemed to have interesting things to say. Haydn was stripped of all sense of patter, the opening movement of the Second Concerto mixing impetuosity and suavity to impressive effect, and the finale showing just how turbo-charged Haydn’s cello writing can be.
Wispelwey’s late-night performance was of Bach’s Cello Suite in D minor.
The audience seemed to be gathered with a special sense of anticipation, and Wispelwey played as if for himself, allowing his listeners to eavesdrop rather than projecting the music for their benefit.
Yet, even when the music-making was at its most controversial (and there were some speeds that were very fast indeed), it was always communicatively sure.