Sheku Kanneh-Mason – Muse (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 01:06:50 minutes | 1,13 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Decca Music Group Ltd.
Chart-topping siblings Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason have announced they will release Muse, their first album as a duo, on 5 November 2021. Their new recording features a diverse selection of music for piano and cello composed by Samuel Barber and Sergei Rachmaninov conveying the breadth of intricate human emotions. The first single from Muse, Barber’s ‘A Slumber Song of the Madonna’ is out now.
espite the Covid pandemic, the Kanneh-Mason siblings probably didn’t have too much trouble finding the right partners to make music with. The whole family is bursting with young talent, all seven children are professional classical instrumentalists, and accordingly one imagines the lockdown in the Kanneh-Mason household would’ve been very musical.
Fortunately, this productivity has also been recorded for all outsiders – at least as far as Isata (piano) and her brother Sheku (cello) are concerned. Both siblings have already been highly praised several times for their solo projects, and now they are releasing their first album together, Muse, as a duo on Decca.
Isata and Sheku have already performed both Rachmaninoff’s and Samuel Barber’s cello sonatas together in concert around the world. When their tour had to be interrupted in 2020 due to the pandemic, the duo decided to simply move this unique music into a recording studio.
With Barber’s Cello Sonata, Op. 6 from the 1930s as well as some arrangements of his songs, the two performers give us a wonderful insight into the still lesser-known repertoire. One quickly gets the impression that it was a great pleasure for both of them to discover the dramatic work and to get to know Barber down to the smallest detail. The highlight of the disc, however, is probably the Rachmaninoff recordings. The wonderful Muza from his 14 Romances, Op. 34 is not only the album’s namesake, but also conveys a perfect symbiosis between cello and piano. Without relegating either instrument to the background, the performers rather get the best out of the other. This becomes even clearer in the Cello Sonata, Op. 19, which the composer himself describes as an equal work between piano and cello. Although Rachmaninoff did not stray too often into chamber music, Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason manage to elevate it to one of his supreme disciplines. A family project that is more than successful. – Lena Germann
1. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – I. Allegro ma non troppo
2. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – II. Adagio – Presto
3. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – III. Allegro appassionato
4. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – Barber: There’s Nae Lark (Arr. Parkin for Cello and Piano)
5. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – Barber: A Slumber Song of the Madonna (Arr. Parkin for Cello and Piano)
6. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – Barber: With Rue My Heart Is Laden, Op. 2 No. 2 (Arr. Parkin for Cello and Piano)
7. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – Barber: Sure on This Shining Night, Op. 13 No. 3 (Arr. Parkin for Cello and Piano)
8. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – No. 7, It Cannot Be!
9. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – No. 7, How Fair This Spot
10. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – No. 1, The Muse
11. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – I. Lento – Allegro moderato
12. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – II. Allegro scherzando
13. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – III. Andante
14. Sheku Kanneh-Mason – IV. Allegro mosso