FilmToday, the award-winning cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason returns with Elgar, a new album of works anchored around Sir Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto which last year saw the 100th anniversary of its first performance.
Recorded in Studio One, where Elgar himself worked, Sheku has set the iconic work amid nine exquisite pieces, some popular and some less well-known, which provide a musical context to the Cello Concerto. He explains: "All the pieces are connected, either exercising similar emotions to the Cello Concerto, or written around the same time."To put his vision to life, he worked alongside the London Symphony Orchestra which was conducted by one of Sheku’s lifelong heroes, Sir Simon Rattle. Sheku explains of the privilege of recording the album in Studio One: “It was a fantastic experience making the recording in such an iconic venue; its rich history lent another dimension to the already great excitement of playing the Elgar Cello Concerto with Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO."It has been a remarkable few years for Sheku who won BBC Young Musician at the age of 17 and, by his 19th birthday was performing at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The decade concluded on a phenomenal high with the news that Sheku has been appointed Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to music in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
The album is released today on Decca Classics which you can purchase and listen to here. Sessions for the album were engineered by Jonathan Stokes, produced by Jonathan Allen and assisted by Abbey Road’s George Oulton and Daniel Hayden.