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Jonah Kim & Sean Kennard go for broke and hold nothing in reserve on new Rachmaninoff - Barber set / San Francisco Classical Voice

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When cellist Jonah Kim and pianist Sean Kennard met at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, they were both still in their teens. Their youth wasn't about to hold them back. The first piece they undertook together was Rachmaninoff's technically and musically daunting Sonata for Piano and Cello, Op. 19. The fruits of the team's early labor are on full display in a new Delos recording that pairs that potent masterwork with Samuel Barber's Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 6, written when the composer, who was also a Curtis student, was in his early 20s.

Kim and Kennard give this cello sonata program fully committed, colorfully contrasted readings. While the Rachmaninoff is a more fully satisfying work, there's something about the sense of danger and fearlessness they bring to the Barber that captures their own youthful musical zest. Like the composer himself, they go for broke and hold nothing in reserve.   Credit: Grace Song

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