"Michael Hersch's Sonata No.1 for Unaccompanied Cello, an arching 35-minute work that amply repays the considerable demands it makes on a cellist's technique and interpretive imagination. Daniel Gaisford's spectacular performance was particularly gripping in the work's extroverted finale."
Star-Telegram (Van Cliburn Institute / Modern at the Modern
Santa Rosa Symphony
"Daniel Gaisford brings the (Hersch) Sonata No. 2 for unaccompanied cello to life with astonishing virtuosity and (particularly in the elegiac fourth movement) a haunted lyricism ideally suited to Hersch's sombre muse."
Time Out Magazine (cd review)
"In Haydn's Cello Concerto, Gaisford unleashed a passionate performance that crackled with electrical energy and had the faint-hearted in the audience complaining of too much voltage. Let them complain! These notes were meant to sparkle and Gaisford made them glitter."
"The mood became even more serious as cellist Daniel Gaisford began Edward Elgar's "Cello Concerto," composed in the wake of World War I. He extended his sounds to great depths - in range, in tone color and in emotion. His shaping and pacing of the sound was personal, lifting spirits where possible, but also settling into a sense of despair. In this troubled atmosphere, the gorgeous third movement extended Gaisford's sound with a comforting embrace of the full string section. His yearning cadenza moved out of this nostalgic reverie to the well-timed mix of moods in the last movement. With the orchestra always supporting but not overpowering, it was definitely a performance that one would like to hear again."
"Cellist Daniel Gaisford brought his 1706 Matteo Goffriller cello to the stage next in Haydn's Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky's Pezzo Capriccioso. Gaisford played with a great warmth, the hallmark of the cello, and created expressive melodic lines, sweeping of the accompaniment. The tone of this instrument resounded through the hall, even in the quiet moment when one might expect to lose the sound. The Haydn was beautiful, elegant and musically perfect. In the Tchaikovsky, Gaisford found a place to demonstrate his virtuosity in terms most people understand. He played fast, furiously, accurately and emotionally, and brought on a standing ovation which he answered with a little piece he composed. It was a gentle tune with accompaniment, all pizzicato."
"What followed was an outstanding performance of the Schumann Cello Concerto, with Daniel Gaisford as soloist. Seldom has a cello sounded more beautifully than it did in Gaisford's hands. He truly is a world-class performer. He made his cello sing. Gaisford also goes for the large gestures, whether they are dramatic, lyrical or playful. It was sheer joy listening to him perform. The Schumann concerto, in one movement with three clearly defined sections, is an exciting work, very melodic and also very dramatic. The concerto is filled with the lush romantic harmonies that one would expect from Schumann, one of the key figures in German romanticism, and Gaisford is undoubtedly the supreme interpreter of this work. This was quite simply heavenly."
The Deseret News
"The soloist was cellist Daniel Gaisford. The Salt Lake City-raised musician-made-good stole the spotlight with Robert Schumann's Cello Concerto. Gaisford conferred an intimate grandeur to the opus. Schumann's only concerto for the cello presents the soloist some technical hurdles that are not always apparent to the casual listener. But Gaisford effortlessly tossed them off. The young soloist was most impressive with his mature command of phrase sculpturing and his cognizance of the concerto's larger architecture. Gaisford's virtuosity never hindered his immaculate control over every aspect of the composition's production. For an encore, Gaisford generously gave his audience Bach's G Major Prelude. This unaccompanied jewel underscored Gaisford's profound talent- a talent that suggests a long international career."
The Salt Lake Tribune
"Guest cellist Daniel Gaisford displayed a towering talent and a mastery of the instrument that was dramatic and more than equal to the extreme demands of Edward Elgar's only cello concerto. Gaisford was a "showy" performer. His elegant bow stroke preparation sometimes resembled a tennis player's slow-motion backswing before delivering a killer shot. The high range was at times rivaling the violin, requiring the body to hunch over and around the instrument as both hands reached the whole length of the fingerboard toward the bridge. Flying 16th note passages up and down scales and arpeggios were played at times with the bow bouncing off the strings, never missing a note. The intensity of soaring melodies, the energetic, military-sounding chords strummed with the right hand, the quietest repose of an expressive diminuendo, all demonstrated an unflagging artistry remarkable in this young performer."
South Bend Tribune
"After intermission, Daniel Gaisford, thc great American cellist, presented works by Bernstein and Saint-Saens. We are hearing a good bit of Bernstein at Chautauqua this week. With eloquent advocates like Mr. Gaisford it is little wonder that the estimation of his works is growing. His interpretation of the "Three Meditations for Cello and Orchestra" is the best I have ever heard of this powerful piece. It was a real pleasure to hear such a fabulously rich tone from a string soloist in the Amphitheater, on a damp Chautauqua night no less."
The Chautauquan Daily
"The show was stolen, however, by Daniel Gaisford, the marvelous young American cellist who looks more like a college athlete than a serious musician. With facial expressions and body language dramatically projecting his emotional involvement, Gaisford gave a performance of the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor that was remarkable for its full-bodied tone and clean legato line."
San Diego Magazine
"The Dvorak Cello Concerto, played marvelously by the great American cellist, Daniel Gaisford, brought a glorious conclusion to the evening of Slavic musical grandeur. The bold voice of Gaisford's cello strode into the midst of soaring massifs of orchestral sonority, asserting its vibrant muscularity from the first pitch. Gaisford's playing was urgent and visceral. He relished in both the beauty and the power of Dvorak's writing, and kept both qualities at the forefront of his musical thinking whether carving out long, penetrating lines or scrubbing deftly through decorative passagework. The lowest pitches on his C string, particularly the low D, had an uncanny ringing life, so resonant as to sound almost amplified. His arrivals at major cadences occurred with nearly string-breaking intensity, their final notes cutting heroically through the orchestral blaze."
Arts & Entertainment/ Springfield News
" The concert featured Edouard Lalo's Concerto in D-minor for cello and orchestra a most rewarding work that we do not hear often enough. Cellist Daniel Gaisford is a master of his instrument - not only technically and musically but tonally. Some of our best-known soloists sound scratchy and strident. Not so with this fine artist. His tone is dulcet and well-rounded in the quiet passages and full and robust in the fortes. And in the sonorous opening movement, the sound poured forth with musical excitement. "
News & Observer N.C. Symphony
This concert is an absolute 'must' (headline)
Honolulu - Hawaii Symphony Orchestra