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Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason Releases “Song”

Released on Decca Classics, this album showcases the cellist’s original arrangements, wide-ranging collaborations, and a new co-written work

 

Celebrating his musical identity and inspiration, British cellistSheku Kanneh-Mason released a brand-new album. Titled “Song,” this is the cellist’s third solo album on Decca Classics.

“[‘Song’] is a mix of stuff, some of my own compositions, arrangements, improvisation, a pop-style song I wrote with a friend,” Sheku recently told The Guardian. “I’m open to playing all kinds of music, and collaborating. The title [of the album] is about the lyrical power of the cello,” he explained.

The album opens with two works arranged by Sheku: the traditional piece Star of the County Down, and J. Parry’s Myfanwy. “[Myfanwy] is one of my absolute favorite melodies, and one that I’ve known for as long as I can remember,” Sheku explained in the press release. “I spent a lot of my childhood in Wales with my family and particularly my Welsh Grandma, so this is for her.”

“Song” also features Nigel Kennedy’s Lullaby for Kamila, Villa-Lobos’s Prelúdio, Beethoven’s 12 Variations on “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen,” Mendelssohn’s Op. 62 and Op. 109 Songs without Words, Massenet’s Elégie, Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, Stravinsky’s Chanson russe, Bach’s Come, Sweet Death (BWV 478) and Saviour of the Nations, Come (BWV 659), A. Hamilton’s Cry Me a River, and F. Hollaender’s Falling in Love Again.

Completing the album are Edmund Finnis’s five preludes in succession and I Say a Little Prayer arranged for cello. Lastly, Same Boat — a pop song co-written by Sheku and English songwriter Zak Abel that “grew from making music together during some tough times — is about finding comfort in the knowledge that we’re often all in that ‘Same Boat,’” Sheku posted on Facebook.

This album is preceded by Sheku’s two previous Classical No. 1 solo albums, Inspiration in 2018 and Elgar in 2020. The latter reached No. 8 in the Official UK Album Chart, making him the first cellist in UK Charts history to reach the Top 10.

Sheku achieved international recognition after winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year award in 2016. Since then, he has been awarded an MBE of the Order of the British Empire for services to music, featured in two BBC documentaries about the Kanneh-Mason family, plus released two albums with his siblings. 

An ambassador for UK music charity Music Masters, Sheku maintains a successful media presence — with over 215 million global streams — and will also feature in the BBC Proms Last Night performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall on September 10, 2022.

Sheku plays on a 1700 Matteo Goffriller cello which is loaned to him indefinitely. 

To listen to and purchase the album, click here.


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october, 2022

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