For the Record, Op. 211: Rachel Barton Pine; cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason; Boston Artists Ensemble

September 10, 2022, 11:47 AM · Welcome to "For the Record," Violinist.com'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!

Rachel Barton Pine
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine.

Violin Concertos by Black Composers Through the Centuries
Rachel Barton Pine, violin
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Jonathon Heyward conducting

Chicago-based violinist Rachel Barton Pine marks the 25th anniversary of her 1997 recording of violin concertos by Black composers of the 18th and 19th centuries with a special-edition reissue, which updates and expands the original program into the 20th century. The new recording includes Pine’s recent recording of Florence Price’s Violin Concerto No. 2, composed in 1952. BELOW: Violin Concertos by Black Composers Through the Centuries

Song
Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello

Stretching from Bach to Bacharach, "Song" sees Sheku Kanneh-Mason present an extraordinary kaleidoscope of music. The eclectic album includes everything from simple folk tunes through to classical works including Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Stravinsky, to jazz melodies and an original pop song, written by the cellist himself. The new record follows Sheku’s two previous solo albums that reached Classical No. 1 in the the UK Charts: Inspiration (2018) and Elgar (2020), with the latter also reaching No. 8 in the Official UK Album Chart, making him the first cellist in the history of the UK Charts to break into the Top 10. On the album, Kanneh-Mason shares his own take on Aretha Franklin’s "I Say a Little Prayer" (written by Burt Bacharach) for solo pizzicato cello. As a child he would play around with melodies like this when procrastinating about cello practice, and then went on to perform it as an encore. BELOW: Sheku Kanneh-Mason plays Mendelssohn's Song without Words, Op. 109 with his sister, pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason.

The New Epoch
Lucia Lin, violin
Jonathan Miller, cello
Diane Walsh piano

In "The New Epoch," three musicians from the Boston Artists Ensemble interpret works by French composers Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, and Lili Boulanger. The musicias join forces in a variety of duo settings this assortment of instruments. Exploring works written at the threshold of the First World War — with the world crossing into the violent twentieth century and composers reacting with music that looked both nostalgically back and innovatively forward — they underline the commonalities between each composer’s unique voice and reinterpret this music for our turbulent present. BELOW: Jonathan Miller - Sonata for Cello and Piano - I. Prologue:

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September 10, 2022 at 05:04 PM · The Jonathan Miller Sonata for Cello and Piano is really interesting. Just like it took a stroke of genius for Pierre Menard to be able to write his Don Quixote from scratch, in a modernist context, hundreds of years after Cervantes, and without living in such a milieu himself, it is fascinating to wonder how Miller, in a thoroughly post or even post-post modernist context, could write his own Debussy's Sonata for Cello and Piano without World War 1 raging around him and suffering the effects of cancer. I wonder if Debussy's own Sonata for Cello and Piano served as a model?

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