Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Sergio Mims: SlippedDisc.com: Sheku Kanneh-Mason performs Elgar Cello Concerto

Sergio A. Mims writes:

Below is part of John Gough's recent review of the Sept 27 concert of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla with Sheku Kanneh-Mason performing Elgar's Cello Concerto:

September 29. 2019

CBSO at Symphony Hall *****
Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

The CBSO has had a close association with rising star Sheku Kanneh-Mason for three years now. This sold-out evening was advertised as “Sheku plays Elgar” and his fan club was vociferously in evidence, even before he played a note. He wears the celebrity thrust upon him charmingly, with a comfortable and unselfconscious platform manner.
After the striking opening, the concerto received an intimate performance, full of introspection and sadness, but without indulgence, moving gently, flowing naturally, as Mirga herself gave a virtuoso display of the art of accompaniment, giving the soloist all the time he needed to make his expressive points with never any worries about the balance between soloist and orchestra. The mercurial second movement was a triumph of flickering detail which prompted its own brief flurry of audience applause, but the Adagio third movement was the highlight of this performance, with lyrical playing and the utmost subtlety of phrasing and dynamics. The ovation with which the work was received was calmed only by a beautiful and simply played encore – “Blow the wind southerly” after which nobody dared move for long seconds.

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