“The cellist Matthew Zalkind gave an elegant rendition of the work, playing with impressive refinement and eloquent phrasing. He illuminated the variations on the gracious melody with a singing tone and fine technique, and savored the good-natured dialogue with the orchestra.”
“His left hand darts around the instrument fearlessly and (with one exception) accurately. The sharply etched passagework in the Bach courante and gigue and the Ligeti capriccio was startling, surpassing that of many world-class cellists.”
“Franz Joseph Haydn‘s Concerto No. 2 in D Major, which has a fiendishly difficult cello solo, played impeccably by Matthew Zalkind, who seemed like a magician, with impossibly fast runs and wide leaps, and high notes right off the fingerboard, yet executed with finessed phrasing.”
By choosing two of the most demanding works in the solo cello repertory for his recording debut, Matthew Zalkind seems to be laying all his cards on the table – and I’m delighted to report that he shows a winning hand.
“The charm and elegant simplicity of the Rococo Variations exhibit Tchaikovsky’s deep affinity for Mozart. Zalkind not only understood this, but had enough confidence not to try to over-impress with the hyper-romanticized schmaltz typical of so many cellists who perform this piece. Especially for someone just embarking upon a career, the result was that much more impressive. With facile technical command and unfailing good taste it would not surprise me at all if that career vaults him into the top echelon of concert artists.”
“Zalkind played it up a storm. This is clearly a young cellist with a big future, who combines richly resonant tone and impeccable intonation with a vividness of communication that has his listeners in the palm of his hand.”