Title - 'Romance'
Artist - Isata Kanneh-Mason
For those not in the know, a postgraduate student at London’s Royal Academy of Music, Isata Kanneh-Mason has embarked on a successful and increasingly busy concert career as a solo artist, with concerto appearances, solo recitals and chamber concerts throughout the UK and abroad.
Indeed, Isata also continues to perform with her siblings, including regular duo recitals with her brother, the cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
Isata reached her category final in the 2014 BBC Young Musician competition, winning the Walter Todds Bursary for the most promising musician before the Grand Final.
She has since performed several times on television and radio, including BBC Radio 3 In Tune, the Radio 3 RPS Awards, BBC2 Proms Extra, Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, Al Jazeera TV, BBC World Service, Channel 4, The One Show, ITV Born To Shine, BBC2 Classroom Heroes, and a feature for CBS’s Sunday Morning.
Big sister to aforementioned cellist Sheku, Isata's first recording for Decca Classics is an album of Clara Schumann’s piano music in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
Simply entitled Romance, the album not only illuminates the world of Isata's musical heroine but brings her together to join forces with an all-female lineup to champion Schumann.
1-3 Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 7
‘Romanze – Andante non troppo, con grazia’
‘Finale – Allegro non troppo’
4-6 3 Romances Op. 11
‘Andante – allegro passionate’
7 Scherzo No 2 in C minor Op. 14
8-10 3 Romances for Violin and Piano Op. 22
11 Widmung (R. Schumann trans. C. Schumann)
12 Mondnacht (R. Schumann trans. C. Schumann)
13-16 Piano Sonata in G minor
With its wondrous core being a recording of the Piano Concerto in A minor with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Holly Mathieson, and 3 Romances for Violin & Piano - with violinist and former BBC New Generation Artist Elena Urioste - Romance might just be one of the best albums of music of this genre and ilk to have come out in the past decade.
To realize that Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor was actually written at the tender age of just fourteen, and which was performed by the composer at Leipzig Gewandhaus two years later under the baton of Felix Mendelssohn, just enhances Isata's observations and endeavor to bring forth her own tribute to such an already-stunning work of musical art.
Opening with the three-part Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 7, its first contains memorable, all by they conventions themes, the slower second (complete with memorable cello solo) more deeply lyrical, with the virtuosic third movement bringing everything to a rather playful conclusion.
This magnificent recording also features music from various phases of Schumann's life, from the youthful Piano Concerto to the mature magnificence of her Piano Sonata the achingly beautiful Violin Romances and rarely-recorded transcriptions of songs by Robert Schumann.
The album, released on Decca Classics on July 5th, 2019, doesn't force itself upon you at any time, never wanting to carry you away on dips and curves already constructed, but moreover only wishes for you to be transported back to enjoy a musically vibrant painting of an intimate portrait of Schumann's life through her compositions.
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