Mendelssohn & Mendelssohn-Hensel: Works for Cello & Piano (2019)

Mendelssohn, Mendelssohn-Hensel

Johannes Moser, Alasdair Beatson

German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser and Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson present a moving portrait of the Mendelssohn family with this recording of pieces by the siblings Felix and Fanny. Once composed for the popular Sunday Sessions at the Berlin Mendelssohn family house, these works fit into the typically nineteenth-century tradition of domestic music-making, albeit at the highest thinkable level. Beatson plays an 1837 Erard fortepiano, identical to the instrument that belonged to the Mendelssohn household when these pieces were composed. 

Besides Felix Mendelssohn’s two sonatas for cello and piano, his Variations concertantes, op. 17, Lied ohne Worte, op. 109 and Albumblatt in B Minor are featured. Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn’s Fantasia in G Minor and Capriccioin A-flat Major show what could have become of this talented female composer if societal conventions had not restricted her musical activities to the private salon.

 

Note from the artist

“Mendelssohn was always present: as a child I heard my mother singing the Lobgesang symphony, already before my studies I acquainted musically with Fanny as a teenager, played her piano quartet as an early chamber music experience, shortly afterwards Felix’s piano trio and the Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream. The doors to this music have really opened up to me in the context of this recording through the wonderful playing of Alasdair Beatson on an E?rard grand piano from 1837. The Mendelssohns owned such an instrument, must have composed with this sound in their ears.” 

-- Johannes Moser

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Johannes Moser

Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists”, German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser has performed with the world’s leading orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras as well as the Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Tokyo Symphony, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras. He works regularly with conductors of the highest level including Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Jurowski, Franz Welser-Möst, Manfred Honeck, Christian Thielemann, Pierre Boulez, Paavo Jarvi and Semyon Bychkov, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Gustavo Dudamel.

Known for his efforts to expand the reach of the classical genre, his passionate focus on new music, and his commitment to reaching out to young audiences, Moser aims to present classical music in ways with which listeners of all ages can engage and connect. He was a recipient of the prestigious 2014 Brahms prize, and his recordings have earned him three ECHO Klassik awards and the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In 2015 Moser signed an exclusive contract with PENTATONE, and has released albums with the cello concertos of Dvo?ak and Lalo (2015), works for cello and piano by Rachmaninov and Prokofiev (2016, awarded with a Diapason d’or and ECHO Klassik 2017) and Elgar and Tchaikovsky cello concertos (2017). Born into a musical family in 1979 as a dual citizen of Germany and Canada, Moser began studying the cello at the age of eight. He was the top prize winner at the 2002 Tchaikovsky Competition, in addition to being awarded the Special Prize for his interpretation of the Rococo Variations.

Johannes Moser performs on a 1694 Andrea Guarneri cello, generously on loan from a private collection.

photo: provided in Press Release by PENTATONE

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Mendelssohn & Mendelssohn-Hensel: Works for Cello & Piano (2019)

Mendelssohn, Mendelssohn-Hensel

Johannes Moser, Alasdair Beatson

    The Scotsman -

Mendelssohn’s Sonata No 2 for cello and piano brings an instant smile to the face, a glow to the cheeks, and an irrepressible wish to get out there and soak up the fresh summer air. Especially when it’s played with all the luster and élan that cellist Johannes Moser and pianist Alasdair Beatson muster in this disc of cello and piano works by Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn. This sonata and the just as sunny First Sonata are compellingly delivered, uniquely characterized by the delicate virtuosity, Beatson elicits from the 1837 Erard grand piano. Other delights include Mendelssohn’s sister Fanny’s Chopinesque Fantasia in G minor and Mendelssohn’s own, charm-filled Variations concertante. The latter’s Albumblatt in B minor, with its strangely ambiguous final cadence, leaves you not only transfixed but longing for more.

Ken Walton[read full review]

Mendelssohn & Mendelssohn-Hensel: Works for Cello & Piano (2019)

Mendelssohn, Mendelssohn-Hensel

Johannes Moser, Alasdair Beatson

Cello: Johannes Moser plays a 1694 Andrea Guarneri cello, generously on loan from a private collection
Piano: Alasdair Beatson plays a 1837 Erard piano, from the Edwin Beunk Collection
Producer: Karel Bruggeman
Recording Engineer: Jean-Marie Geijsen
Recording Location: Recording Studio Drente, Valthermand, December 2018
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD

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PTC5186781: Mendelssohn & Mendelssohn-Hensel: Works for Cello & Piano
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Tracks.
1.
Cello Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 58, MWV Q 32- I. Allegro assai vivace
Mendelssohn
00:07:34   Select quality & channels above
2.
Cello Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 58, MWV Q 32- II. Allegretto scherzando
Mendelssohn
00:05:23   Select quality & channels above
3.
Cello Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 58, MWV Q 32- III. Adagio
Mendelssohn
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4.
Cello Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 58, MWV Q 32- IV. Molto allegro e vivace
Mendelssohn
00:06:55   Select quality & channels above
5.
Variations concertantes, Op. 17, MWV Q 19
Mendelssohn
00:08:29   Select quality & channels above
6.
Lied ohne Worte, Op. 109, MWV Q 34
Mendelssohn
00:04:20   Select quality & channels above
7.
Sonata o Fantasia in G Minor, H-U 238
Mendelssohn-Hensel
00:05:38   Select quality & channels above
8.
Capriccio in A-Flat Major, H-U 247
Mendelssohn-Hensel
00:06:40   Select quality & channels above
9.
Cello Sonata No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 45, MWV Q 27- I. Allegro vivace
Mendelssohn
00:11:47   Select quality & channels above
10.
Cello Sonata No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 45, MWV Q 27- II. Andante
Mendelssohn
00:05:27   Select quality & channels above
11.
Cello Sonata No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 45, MWV Q 27- III. Allegro assai
Mendelssohn
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12.
Assai tranquillo in B Minor, MWV Q 25
Mendelssohn
00:02:09   Select quality & channels above

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