Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos 1 & 2

by Elisabeth Leonskaja
     
 

There are those who say that Mendelssohn was a minor early German Romantic, that aside from a handful of pieces -- the octet, the violin concerto, the Overture to "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and a few others -- his music is entirely inconsequential to the history of German music. And then there are those who say he's a major early GermanSee more details below

Overview

There are those who say that Mendelssohn was a minor early German Romantic, that aside from a handful of pieces -- the octet, the violin concerto, the Overture to "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and a few others -- his music is entirely inconsequential to the history of German music. And then there are those who say he's a major early German Romantic, that many of his works -- the above plus the "Italian" and "Scottish" symphonies, the oratorio "Elijah," and many, many others -- deserve to be ranked with the most important works of early German Romanticism. Those who judge Mendelssohn to be a major German Romantic won't find support for their argument in this disc of his two piano concertos performed by Elisabeth Leonskaja and the Camerata Salzburg directed by Ilan Volkov. Leonskaja is a fine pianist with a bright but warm tone and a more than capable technique, but she treats these minor-keyed works lightly, almost casually. Her opening movements -- Molto allegro con fuoco and Allegro appassionato -- seem less furious or passionate than decorous; her central movements -- Andante and Adagio molto sostenuto -- seem less heartfelt than perfunctory; and her closing movements -- Presto and Presto scherzando -- while fast enough, seem less spirited than dutiful. Naturally, Volkov and the Salzburg players go along with Leonskaja -- what choice do they have? -- and the results portray Mendelssohn as Schumann's much less ardent and much, much less adventurous older brother. The inclusion of Leonskaja's solo performances of nine of the composer's "Songs Without Words" fills up the disc with pleasantly evocative performances but adds nothing to Mendelssohn's reputation. Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm's super audio digital recording is as clear and clean as its straight digital recordings, but, oddly, not as vivid and immediate.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/30/2007
Label:
Md&G Records
UPC:
0760623142166
catalogNumber:
9431421
Rank:
378334

Tracks

  1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25  - Felix Mendelssohn  -  Salzburg Camerata  - Elisabeth Leonskaja  - Stewart Spencer  - Catherine Debacq  - Ilan Volkov
  2. Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 40  - Felix Mendelssohn  -  Salzburg Camerata  - Elisabeth Leonskaja  - Stewart Spencer  - Catherine Debacq  - Ilan Volkov
  3. Song without Words for piano No. 36 in E major, Op. 67/6  - Felix Mendelssohn  - Elisabeth Leonskaja  - Stewart Spencer  - Catherine Debacq
  4. Song without Words for piano No. 27 in E minor ("Trauermarsch"), Op. 62/3  - Felix Mendelssohn  - Elisabeth Leonskaja  - Stewart Spencer  - Catherine Debacq
  5. Song without Words for piano No. 1 in E major, Op. 19b/1  - Felix Mendelssohn  - Elisabeth Leonskaja  - Stewart Spencer  - Catherine Debacq
  6. Antigone, incidental music, Op. 55  - Felix Mendelssohn  - Elisabeth Leonskaja  - Stewart Spencer  - Catherine Debacq
  7. Songs without Words (6) for piano, Book 5, Op. 62: Venetianisches Gondellied, Op. 62, 5 in A minor  - Felix Mendelssohn  - Elisabeth Leonskaja  - Stewart Spencer  - Catherine Debacq
  8. Song without Words for piano No. 48 in C major, Op. 102/6  - Felix Mendelssohn  - Elisabeth Leonskaja  - Stewart Spencer  - Catherine Debacq
  9. Song without Words for piano No. 6 in G minor ("Venetianisches Gondellied"), Op. 19b/6  - Felix Mendelssohn  - Elisabeth Leonskaja  - Stewart Spencer  - Catherine Debacq
  10. Venetianisches Gondellied ("Wenn durch die Piazzetta die Abendluft weht"), song for voice & piano, Op. 57/5  - Felix Mendelssohn  - Elisabeth Leonskaja  - Stewart Spencer  - Catherine Debacq
  11. Song without Words for piano No. 26 in B flat major, Op. 62/2  - Felix Mendelssohn  - Elisabeth Leonskaja  - Stewart Spencer  - Catherine Debacq

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