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Hyperion Records

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Amalfi (1836 watercolour after a pencil drawing done in situ 1831) by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
The Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. M. Deneke Mendelssohn c. 21, fol. 123r
Track(s) taken from CDA67753
Recording details: November 2008
Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: July 2010
Total duration: 1 minutes 39 seconds

'Eugene Asti plays with a refreshingly light touch and a lively sense of rhythm' (Gramophone)

‘Hyperion’s series of Mendelssohn’s neglected vocal pieces continues to spread enchantment, thanks in part to young British talent. Katherine Broderick and Hannah Morrison, wonderfully clear and expressive sopranos, top the line-up gathered by Eugene Asti … genius is frequent and Mendelssohn’s charm almost constant’ (The Independent)

Lied zum Geburtstage meines guten Vaters
First line:
Ihr Töne schwingt euch fröhlich durch die Saiten
for the birthday of Abraham Mendelssohn on 11 December 1819
author of text
probably by a Mendelssohn family friend

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Song was one of the foremost genres of the Romantic age, and Felix Mendelssohn was engaged in song composition at intervals from childhood until his untimely death at the age of thirty-eight. His first known song, indeed one of his first extant compositions of any kind, is the Lied zum Geburtstage meines guten Vaters, composed on an anonymous text for Abraham Mendelssohn’s birthday on 11 December 1819 by his ten-year-old son. (Abraham supposedly told a friend: ‘Once I was the son of a famous father [the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn], and now I am the father of a famous son’; it was Abraham who took the radical step of not having his sons circumcised and having them baptized into the Lutheran church in 1816.) This sweet specimen of juvenilia foreshadows Mendelssohn’s love of strophic song thereafter; simple, heartfelt, and straightforward in a hymn-like G major, the song ends with a postlude in which the precocious child experiments with a modicum of chromaticism.

from notes by Susan Youens © 2010

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