For the Record, Op. 107: Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason/Elgar; Piotr Plawner/Philip Glass

January 24, 2020, 2:07 PM · Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

Sheku Kanneh-Mason
Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello
London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle

This is one hot album - it has reached the Top 10 in U.K.'s Official Album Chart last week, making Sheku Kanneh-Mason the first cellist to ever do so! It's no wonder; it's beautiful playing, with Elgar's Cello Concerto as the centerpiece (performed with Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra) and also a collection of pieces meant to reflect the moods and influences in the piece. Standing out is Simon Parkin's six-cello arrangement of "Nimrod," from Elgar's Enigma Variations. BELOW: "Nimrod," arranged for solo cello and cello quintet, played by Kanneh-Mason and his friends, including teachers past and present: Ashok Klouda, Caroline Dearnley, Hannah Roberts, Josephine Knight and Ben Davies.

Glass: Violin Concerto No. 2 "The American Four Seasons" & Violin Sonata
Piotr Plawner, violin
Gerardo Vila, piano
Bern Chamber Orchestra, Philippe Bach conducting

Philip Glass has become an iconic figure in American music. His works are often inspired by collaborations with other leading musicians, and the proposal of an “American Four Seasons” by the violinist Robert McDuffie to reflect Vivaldi’s famous masterpiece resulted in a concerto which evokes the Baroque spirit of early 18th-century violin tradition. With the Concerto’s range of moods, listeners are invited to decide for themselves which season the music evokes. The Violin Sonata sees Glass’s melodic and harmonic language haunted by the ghosts of Brahms, Faure and Franck, “the meditative-ness of this piece bringing a unique energy” for award-winning violinist Piotr Plawner. BELOW: A performance of Glass's Violin Concerto No. 2 by Piotr Plawner, with Filharmonia Pomorska Chamber Orchestra.

If you have a new recording you would like us to consider for inclusion in our Thursday "For the Record" feature, please e-mail Editor Laurie Niles. Be sure to include the name of your album, a link to it and a short description of what it includes.

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