She is a powerful and dramatic performer and she played the heck out of her cello and that concerto. During the "pretzel song" theme that starts the 2nd movement when she plays it alone at first, I swear, a bunch of the 1st violinists could not help bopping their heads to the infectious rhythm of that melody. Shortly after that, her A string broke. She stopped, stood up, and said to Antonio Pappano that her string had broken She then walked to the door at stage right and took a string package from a man, about twice her height, who had just walked in with several of them. She then went back to her bench and put on the new string, tuned up (asking for the pitch from Ken Olsen's cello) and then was ready to start again the 2nd movement. She joked to the audience that her strings are called "permanent" but they aren't. The whole operation was done with complete aplomb and took 3 minutes, tops.
Some may not like her tone or fast, tight vibrato. But, for this piece, I thought it was right. I was very impressed. And she has the makings of a cello goddess. She is slim, to the point of the possibility of passing as a ballet dancer. She has lovely muscle definition in her arms. She has an adorable, very well cut hairstyle. And the dress was to die for! It was a tangerine color, long gown, in this irregular pleated sort of fabric. It clung to her perfect body, and the back had gathered-in-the-middle bands - 4 in a row up her spine. It's hard to explain, but it reminded me of some early '70's Mary Quant gowns (very untypical of hers) that were inspired by ancient Egyptian gowns.
The only problem with the whole image is she makes the most unattractive, disconcerting facial expressions imaginable. Her handlers really need to show her a film of herself playing. It was disturbing and distracting. I could hardly stand to look at her as she played, and others there were commenting about it afterwards. It's a pity because that is what a lot of people will remember about her.
So, I enjoyed her, and the concerto, very much. I will go hear her again if I have the opportunity. Did anyone else go?