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
Total time: 01:15:48
|Original Recording Format|
Johannes Moser plays a 1694 Andrea Guarneri cello, generously on loan from a private collection
Alasdair Beatson plays a 1837 Erard piano, from the Edwin Beunk Collection
Recording Studio Drente, Valthermand, December 2018
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||August 8, 2019|
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.
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