Music: Big Cello

When Gregor Piatigorsky put away his cello for a long rest 15 months ago, he was the best cellist in the U.S.* Back in Carnegie Hall last week for the first time since his sabbatical, a slightly greyer "Grischa" Piatigorsky proved that there is still no one around who can touch him.

Carrying his $30,000 Stradivarius cello like a toy, the hulking (6 ft. 3½ in.) master lunged onstage, plunked himself into a chair next to the piano. Then he launched into a program of Schumann, Bach, Milhaud, Debussy, Bloch and Ravel. He played them all with masterful technique and taste, though...