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Piano Concertos 1 and 2
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REVIEW

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)
Après un rêve [2:56]
Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959)
Abodah [2:52]
Leonard COHEN (1934-2016)
Hallelujah [3:25]
Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello)
No recording details given
DECCA Promotional [9:18]

I was thrilled to learn that Sheku Kanneh-Mason’s first disc was being released as I was hugely impressed by his performances in last year’s BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition. However, this is not it. This promotional disc has no details given on the sleeve either of the recording venue and date, the music itself nor who was accompanying him on the piano in the Fauré, though I suspect it is his sister as it was in the competition, nor whether he was playing alongside another cellist in the Leonard Cohen or if he was doubling up alongside a pre-recorded accompaniment.

I hope it does him good as it deserves to since he is an excellent cellist for one so young; he has bags of talent plus an amazing ability for imparting passion, pathos and raw emotion of the kind that makes the hairs on the back of your head stand up and he’s yet to enter the Royal Academy of Music so imagine how much better he’ll be when he graduates from there. He plays the Fauré in such an insightful way with just the right amount of wistful nostalgia while his interpretation of the Bloch piece is imbued with a good measure of palpably sad reflection. The Leonard Cohen is very moving and made me want to own some more of the unique Canadian singer’s work.

In the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition he won with his performance of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1 and I understand that that will be his proper debut disc recording for Decca who he is signed up with. All I can say is roll on! Not for nothing has Sheku Kanneh-Mason been described as ‘a young Jacqueline du Pré’; be assured this little ‘sampler’ is part of history in the making so Yo-Yo Ma and co you’d better watch your backs!

Steve Arloff
 

 

 




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