Nigel Kennedy, one of the world’s best-known and best-selling classical artists, refuses to play by any one set of rules. In the past decade he has recorded Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Mlynarsky, and Karlowicz, and laid his personal instrumental stamp on the songs of Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, and Kate Bush. Kennedy has also performed the violin intro to Baba O’Riley on stage with The Who, performed at The Proms with Jeff Beck, explored klezmer music with Polish band Kroke, dug deep into the roots of modern jazz on The Blue Note Sessions – an album recorded with Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette, and most recently collaborated with old mate and North London neighbour, Boy George, on Nick Drake’s classic “River Man” for his 2010 release Shhh!
This 2-CD set celebrates the multiple facets of Kennedy’s career. The first disc focuses on classical repertoire, featuring Kennedy’s iconic recordings of the best-loved violin repertoire: movements from the great concerti including Bruch and Beethoven; the Four Seasons; and stand-alone works such as Zigeunerweisen and Lark Ascending. The second disc features the jazz and pop repertoire: standards from his Blue Note Sessions album, performances of his own pop and fusion compositions with both the Nigel Kennedy Quintet and the Polish klezmer trio Kroke, and tracks from his latest album Sssh!