The BBC Young Musician 2016 takes on one of the greatest concerto challenges facing any cellist: the Elgar. And he makes quite an impression with a performance of authority and, more importantly, personality. He’s clearly thought long and hard about the score and he plays with huge conviction. Rattle and the LSO (the same ensemble featured at the premiere and on the classic du Pré recording) are magnificent partners, the orchestra channeling its Elgar heritage with real class. The remaining works showcase Sheku in more intimate repertoire—the Bloch pieces are particularly powerful, and the two folk-song arrangements are heart-melting.

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