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