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Sol Gabetta - Vasks: Presence / The Strad review

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Conviction is everything when performing music by the Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks. Without it, his highly emotional works can sound simply mawkish or manipulative. But with a sure sense of inner belief, his simple, glowingly tonal music can achieve the kind of spiritual introspection he's surely aiming for – and cellist Sol Gabetta evidently has a firm faith in Vasks's somewhat fragile, vulnerable music. She's the dedicatee of ‘Klātbūtne' (‘Presence'), his Second Cello Concerto, a work she requested after being captivated by his earlier, unaccompanied Grāmata čellam (‘Book for Cello'), and she performs both on this compelling release.