Collective Listening Project

Violinist Braimah Kanneh-Mason Selects

Playlist No. 35

About the Playlist

November 19, 2020
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This week’s newly released Collective Listening Project is next up in our Play It Forward initiative. 22-year-old violinist Braimah Kanneh-Mason was tagged by his brother Sheku and his sister Isata to curate our latest playlist, which showcases his broad musical background. Still a student at the Royal Academy of Music, Braimah is already an artist-in-residence at Brighton College and a guest with the band Clean Bandit.

We hope you’re enjoying our month-long focus on the extraordinary Kanneh-Mason family—seven siblings, ages 10–23, all of whom play instruments at award-winning levels. The Kanneh-Mason Residency will culminate with cellist Sheku and his sister and pianist Isata on Sunday, November 29 at 3PM (EST) for our next Watch Party concert and Q&A, live from the Kanneh-Mason family home in Nottingham, England, to which you can RSVP HERE.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61
Itzhak Perlman, violin with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Daniel Barenboim
This piece is one of my favourites ever! I associate it with my childhood as I used to listen to this piece on repeat most nights. Perlman’s tone alone is enough reason to hear this recording, but the effortless way he shapes each phrase, the natural character, and the beautiful colours he creates throughout make this the recording I have heard more than any.

JOSEPH ACHRON Hebrew Melody in A Minor, Op. 33
Josef Hassid, violin

Hassid is my favourite violinist, and I love all of the few small encores that are left of his recording legacy. The Hebrew Melody was the first one I heard while watching ‘The Art of Violin’ as a child. He makes the violin sob and wail—all with impeccable refinement and shape. You don’t notice what he is doing technically at all, as you are so drawn to what he is expressing, and then the more you listen the more you wonder how could a teenager play with such depth! Heartbreaking recording.

JOHANNES BRAHMS Violin Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 108
Nathan Milstein, violin and Vladimir Horowitz, piano
Whilst listening you are overwhelmed with colour and texture from the piano. They create an extremely vivid and rich world, and from the first phrase you are already there. I love this sonata, and it is one of those pieces in which you might decide to listen to a movement before you sleep, and then you can’t stop. [N.B. Unfortunately the recording with Horowitz is not available in the U.S., so the Spotify playlist includes a substitute recording by Milstein with Austrian pianist Walter Klien.]

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