Magazine article Strings

The Essence of Cello

Magazine article Strings

The Essence of Cello

Article excerpt

Various Composers

(Albany)

Moods for moderns

Two qualities unite this recording of music written in the 1980s and 1990s for cellist Eric Bartlett: Each is superbly written for the cello purely as an instrument, and each is superbly brought to life by Bartlett and pianist Margaret Kampmeier; together they use some very attractive new music to suggest a definition of comprehensive cello technique circa 2014.

In 25 luxuriant minutes, the Five Ballads for Solo Cello by Peter Susser (b. 1959) pay glorious homage to composers only cellists know: Popper, Franchomme, Duport, and Gruetzmacher. The ending of the First Ballad is resolved by a miraculous open C and G string chord.

The Third is an addictive seven-minute edifice built entirely with pizzicato. The Second, Fourth and Fifth are increasingly comprehensive Bachian labyrinths, with Gustav Mahler definitely on the composer's mind in some slow, touching parts at the end. …

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