New CD - Mendelssohn Rediscovered - Piano Concerto in A Minor

It is with great pleasure that Keld Ensemble present this pairing of concertos written by a very young Felix Mendelssohn. It is appropriate that both works were completed by the age of 13, very nearly 200 years ago.

The piano concerto in the key of a minor, demonstrates how exceptional Mendelssohn was as a young prodigy, both as a composer and a pianist. The piano part is difficult but effective, the music well balanced and clear, containing moments of beauty and excitement, and the work bearing many hallmarks of the mature composer. Closely following both structure and themes, Mendelssohn observes the examples of older, contemporary composers, Hummel and Dussek. In particular, in both the first and last movement finales, Mendelssohn interrupts the fast flowing momentum with adagio passages, in anticipation of a frenetic conclusion. For all the virtuosic piano writing, Mendelssohn includes a lively dialogue with the strings, who are given a strong supporting role, far beyond the subordinate orchestral scoring for the piano concertos of Chopin.

Initially, the violin concerto, also from 1822, this time in d minor, sets out in a baroque-style exposition with unison strings, yet the young Mendelssohn hints at a more classical style to come with adventurous modulations and searing, captivating violin melodies. The ‘rondo’ finale bristles with energy from the outset. The character is that of a concerto grosso as Mendelssohn demands meticulous clarity with the running semiquaver detail, which is achieved in some style. But don’t just take my word for it. These are the words of Yehudi Menuhin in 1952, ‘the Concerto in D minor is full of invention and not in any way inhibited by too-strict traditional concepts. It exhibits a remarkable freedom and elasticity of form, confirming the incredible genius and prodigiousness of the 13-year-old master.

Both of these two works were neglected for well over a century and are now happily restored to the classical repertoire.

Jonathan Acton
Artistic Director


Click here to hear excerpts from the Piano Concerto:










Click here to buy for £12.90 incl. P/P




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