“Weilerstein is truly a phenomenon. It’s rare to hear an orchestra dominated by a soloist with such apparent ease, especially in this piece which seems to take an almost sadistic pleasure in pitting the cellist against impossible odds. At one point the cellist’s interjections have to balance a series of implacable thumps on the bass drum, at another it emits a high-pitched scream, pianissimo, above the entire orchestra, before descending in vertiginous leaps.
These moments can seem febrile, but Weilerstein’s technique was so rock-solid and her tone so magisterial they sounded epic. Everything was super-charged with significance, whether it was the dry single notes that began the piece or the constant reappearance of a yearning phrase, sounding like a window onto another, better world.”