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Although written only seven years after the first, Shostakovich's "Second Cello Concerto" could not be more different in content and temperament. Unlike the "First Concerto," the "Second" is heard much less frequently in live performance and does not make album programs as often, either. Much less bombastic and overtly virtuosic, the "Second Concerto" is by far the more introspective and contemplative of the two cello concertos. While it may not bring audiences to their feet as quickly, the "G major Concerto" still has a great many positive features in the right hands. This RCA album features cellist Sol Gabetta performing with the Munich Philharmonic under Marc Albrecht. Technically, Gabetta's performance is quite clean; her interpretation, however, is somewhat bland and unimaginative. The biggest problem here is Gabetta's sound. While her tone is warm and pleasing enough, she just doesn't have a very big, projecting sound. Compared to the large orchestra force that she's up against, this means that too often her line is just lost in the shuffle. The orchestra appears to do all it can to get out of Gabetta's way without playing timidly, but her instrument just doesn't provide the power necessary to push through. By contrast, her performance of the "D minor Sonata," with pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa, is much more musically satisfying as Gabetta appears more willing to take risks. Here, balance is not an issue and listeners can more fully appreciate her playing.