Friday, March 22

Chineke! Orchestra, Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello), Jonathon Heyward (conductor)

- May 9, 2017

Chineke! Orchestra helps provide career opportunities to young Black and Minority Ethnic classical musicians in the UK and Europe, who perform standard repertory alongside works by BME composers. Any change to the norm is welcome in classical concerts (which can often focus on popular composers to the detriment of diverse programming) and Joseph Boulogne’s Overture to L’amant anonyme was a refreshing unknown piece to many in the audience, like a brisk, more relaxed Mozart opener.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason’s sustained vibrato cello in Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major created a tense, awestruck mood in the Adagio, and the playing was truly beautiful from this star-in-the-making. Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 was performed in a slightly slower pace than this reviewer prefers it: highlighting the emotive moments but lacking any real bite at others. The whole show was finely performed, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason shone in the cello concerto, but the other pieces felt languidly hazy, with more rehearsal time needed to polish and refine the works perhaps.

All Saints Church, 6 May
Rating: ★★★½☆
Joe Fuller

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