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If you haven't listened much to classical music, listen to Jonah Kim, Sean Kennard new Barber - Rachmaninoff / 89.9KCRW - Rhythm Planet

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Although I'm primarily known as a world music and jazz aficionado, I have also loved classical music for a long time. I was a teenager when I first heard Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Van Cliburn's acclaim-winning performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1. I loved rhythm and blues and jazz, but this music spoke to me as well. If you haven't listened much to classical music, let me tell you it's not all starched shirts and formality. There is the richness of timbre and tone that comes with an orchestra of acoustic instruments. There is the intimacy of chamber music and duets. There is the passion and pathos of great opera.

Two albums have been playing on repeat in my house-French mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa singing Debussy's art songs and a recording of Rachmaninoff and Barber's Cello Sonatas performed by cellist Jonah Kim and pianist Sean Kennard. Kim and Kennard perform passionately in the video below, not stiff or starchy at all. They have been playing together since they were teenagers at the Curtis Institute of Music and have played almost every sonata in the classical repertoire. The Rachmaninoff sonata was the first work they ever performed together, many years ago. For my part, I first heard the Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata decades ago, performed by the great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, and I've never forgotten how elegant and sweeping the music is. I also love how the cello's sound suggests the human voice in many ways.  Photo: Grace Song Photography

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