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Performer: Connie Shih

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Time regained, repertoire rediscovered

Steven Isserlis
Presenting a cello—piano recital of mostly Gallic works spiced up with a contemporary British composition might appear counter-intuitive to most musicians. Not so to Steven Isserlis, who performed an unusual, challenging, inspiring and highly satisfying concert with pianist Connie Shih in Sydney on Monday night.
****1
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Three Pieces from 1918 at the Cheltenham Music Festival

Red, white and blue bunting, with matching lighting, adorned the balconies of Cheltenham Town Hall, setting a patriotic scene for a concert of music from the year that World War I ended. Television presenter Julia Somerville opened the evening sat at a vintage newsdesk with her own careful research, for which she can be highly commended.
****1
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Back to 1915: Kraggerud, Isserlis and more at the Cheltenham Music Festival

The concert opened with BBC newsreader Julia Somerville, summarising news from the year 1915 at an old-fashioned broadcasting desk complete with microphone. It was informative, and set the scene for this recital, one in a series of ‘time capsule’ concerts, solely featuring music composed in 1915 – including two of Debussy’s last chamber pieces.
****1
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