Realizing that a piano career was a distant dream following a hand injury, the young Schumann sought solace in the cello. The German composer was fond of the instrument’s songlike qualities, pouring out his soul into his cello concerto of 1850. Sol Gabetta and the Basel Chamber Orchestra give it a lighter touch than most, allowing the cello greater freedom of expression. Gabetta’s sparing use of vibrato, particularly in the slow movement, adds innocence and vulnerability. The chamber works, featuring superb, responsive accompaniment from Bertrand Chamayou on an 1847 Viennese piano, show Schumann in all his emotional complexity: mischievous one moment, tender the next.

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