An amazing CD! A “must” for all cello lovers! Mikael Ericsson’s “Cello M.E.” consists of a compilation of solo cello works. A major portion is by Ericsson himself, who in 1980 won the Prague Spring international cello competition as well as the prize for best interpretation of a contemporary Czech composition. Ericsson’s musical interpretations are always the centerpiece, but his mastery of the most difficult technical passages is remarkable. The compositions that stand out to me are Miroslav Petras’ “Hukvaldy Fantasy – Hommage a Jancek” and Ericsson’s own “Dobru noc – Concert variations (Hommage a Piatti)” and his very charming four shorter works at the of the CD. (Have you ever heard a piece in which the METRONOME is an important ingredient?) Petras’ Fantasy is like a summary or comment on Janacek’s major symphonic “Sinfonietta” for a single cello alone. Petras’ “orchestration” for the cello, and the colorful way in which Ericsson performs it gives a reminder of the many various instruments in Janacek Sinfonietta. Ericsson’s own variations are reminiscences of what Paganini did for the solo violin. In his own works Ericsson often makes us smile. It is both a testament to his ability to write for the cello and not the least his way of performing them. In addition, this CD is significant for the gorgeous sound that Ericsson draws from his cello in perfect acoustics, extremely well recorded. The vibrato is often what distinguishes a singer or string player. Sometimes an artist’s vibrato can be disturbing, but Ericsson’s sound only makes you hear the inner musical expression without you ever noticing the vibrato itself.
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