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Musical World

Desmond Hoebig

  • Cellist
  • Teacher


Desmond Hoebig press reviews

“Hoebig was a paragon of interpretive sensitivity, projecting vibrant sound into the hall even as he lavished the impassioned messages with ardent and poetic shading. The piece’s taxing demands rarely come across with such clarity or purpose.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
review of the Dvorak concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra
May 2008
Cleveland Orchestra’s cellist delivers stunning performance
December 4, 2006, Canton (Ohio) Repository, Emily Wiedenhamer
Soloist Desmond Hoebig promised that Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 was “incredibly powerful, very emotional, and very physically aggressive.”
Hoebig, the principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra, delivered on that promise in a stunning performance
at Umstattd Hall on Sunday night. He attacked the first movement with frenzied bursts of energy, dazzling audiences as he reached to the lowest, then the highest, notes in the cello’s register in quick succession. The orchestra responded enthusiastically, and the occasional (and unexpected) timpani blasts punctuating the piece only gave it more energy.
In the somber and wistful second movement, Hoebig wrung every last drop of emotion possible from the cello’s strings, channeling Shostakovich’s own passion and anguish. His rendition of the harmonic passage near the end of the second movement was eerie and surreal, almost ghostly. Listening to Hoebig’s
sorrowful playing, the audience glimpsed at least musically the realities of Soviet life.
The third movement’s solo cadenza lasted just five minutes, entirely too short when a musician like Hoebig
is performing. The concerto closes with a finale that Music Director Gerhardt Zimmermann referred to as an “absolutely bizarre, demented waltz.” Soloist and orchestra alike rang with defiance, delivering Shostakovich’s message of ultimate triumph in spite of oppression.