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Aleix Palau | 12 April 2021

Brother and sister Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason debut as a duo at L'Auditori

This is the duo’s first appearance in Spain, performing a selection of works by Benjamin Britten and his teacher, Frank Bridge.
Tomorrow at 7 pm in Hall 2, Oriol Martorell at L’Auditori in Barcelona.

Brother and sister Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason debut as a duo at L'Auditori

The unique brother and sister duo, Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason will perform tomorrow in Hall 2, Oriol Martorell at L'Auditori in Barcelona in what will be their first concert as a duo in Spain. L’Auditori audiences already know Sheku, an outstanding British cellist who had his debut in Hall 1 in April 2018, just one month before he leapt to fame, playing before an audience of millions at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

This time he is back at L’Auditori accompanied by his sister, the pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, to explore a fascinating relationship, that between teacher and student. Frank Bridge, the teacher, was a violist in various quartets and an orchestral conductor before becoming a full-time composer. Benjamin Britten, the student, was a central figure in 20th century English and European music.

The four works in the concert reveal different facets of the creative process. The Sonata for cello and piano (1913-17) in two movements, composed between 1913 and 1917, portrays a journey from an innocent and carefree aesthetic to the despair of the Great War, which had a profound effect on Bridge.

This is followed by the contrasting, and very short, Tema ‘Sacher’ by Benjamin Britten, composed for a collective project that cellist Mstislav Rostropovich commissioned from several composers as a tribute to the Swiss conductor Paul Sacher. We return to Bridge for Spring Song, taken from Four Short Pieces and performed as an independent work, and Mélodie, together with Scherzo, which is a revision of an earlier work. Britten’s Cello Sonata , one of five works dedicated to Rostropovich, completes the circle.

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