At the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the triumph of cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and the Paris Chamber Orchestra, September 22, 2022, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, in Paris.

The Paris Chamber Orchestra has quietly settled on the stage of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. Then a screen was unfolded, on which appeared the beautiful face of its musical director, the German pianist and conductor Lars Vogt (1970-2022), who died on Monday, September 5, of liver cancer at the age of 51. years. The voice of the missing musician filled the room: the excerpt from an interview at the microphone of France Musique a year before, where it was about music, friends and consolation.

Finally, Maestro Maxim Emelyanychev, who is conducting the orchestra’s season-opening concert, announced Schubert and the incidental music of rosamundeanticipating the tribute paid to Lars Vogt on Tuesday, October 4 at the Philharmonie de Paris, broadcast live by France Musique and Arte Concert.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers The death of the German pianist and conductor Lars Vogt

The program then started with the four dance pieces of the Couperin’s grave, by Ravel, whose wild rhythm of Maxim Emelyanychev flatters the slightly sarcastic volatility, pulling this music towards a slightly raw colorful dynamic, in the acidulous way of a Stravinsky. Of Prelude in Minuetof Forlane in RigaudonRavel’s pointillism particularly exposes the winds (magnificent oboe by Ilyes Boufadden-Adloff), drypoint music, where the premonition of the tragic emerges under the gallant reverence in the eighteenth centuryme French century, a mirror of despair and the sense of urgency that gripped the composer, torn between patriotism and the horror of war.

the cellist Sheku Kanneh Mason it still rarely happened in France. But the 23-year-old Briton (born to a Sierra Leonean mother and a Caribbean father on April 4, 1999 in Nottingham), after participating with his six brothers and sisters, all classical musicians, on the “Britain’s Got Talent” show in 2015 and won the BBC Young Musician competition the following year, he has truly become an international figure since performing Fauré and Schubert at Windsor Castle in May 2018 for The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (several billion viewers in front of television screens). He went on to a dazzling career, dubbing for director Simon Rattle and three albums, recorded for the Decca label, the last of which, song, An eclectic anthology has just been published that mixes classical, pop, jazz and folk melodies (some arranged by the musician).

impeccable technique

Dressed soberly in a black shirt with traditional white embroidery (Sheku Kanneh-Mason is committed to defending ethnic minorities and black musicians in classical music), the cellist settled quietly on the set. The fever immediately seized the Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major, by Haydn, under the fiery rhythm of Maxim Emelyanychev, who conducts the harpsichord. Then the cellist’s supple bow landed on his beautiful Amati 1610, developing graceful and distinguished phrasing, impeccable technique, and confusingly natural musicality, leaving the show to the harpsichordist in red socks, who in turn kicked or crossed his legs.

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