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Hyperion Records

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The Temple of Juno in Agrigento by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840)
De Agostini Picture Library / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA68059
Recording details: June 2013
St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Annabel Connellan
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: July 2014
Total duration: 10 minutes 55 seconds

Trois fantaisies ou caprices, Op 16
composer
1829; composed for the three Anne, Honora and Susan Taylor

Other recordings available for download
Valerie Tryon (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
While returning to London from his Scottish sojourn in 1829, Mendelssohn made an excursion to northern Wales, where he visited the family of John Taylor (1779–1863), an English mining engineer who owned a summer residence in Flintshire. (Taylor’s sister, Sarah Austin, was a member of the circle of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, and a productive author and translator of German literature.) Playing the English gentleman, Mendelssohn enjoyed hunting, reading Sir Walter Scott, visiting one of Taylor’s mines, and flirting with his three daughters, for whom the composer produced the Trois fantaisies ou caprices, Op 16. For Anne, he joined a pensive Andante con moto in A minor, with traces of his Scottish style, to a spirited, A major Allegro vivace meant to capture bouquets of Anne’s favourite roses and carnations, with ascending arpeggiations to suggest the wafting scent. Floral imagery also informed the second caprice, for Honora. This E minor Scherzo is propelled by crisp fanfares and light staccato work to represent a creeping vine with trumpet-shaped flowers. And the third caprice, for Susan, whom Mendelssohn described as the ‘prettiest’, gently traced the course of a meandering rivulet that the two encountered during one of their walks.

from notes by R Larry Todd © 2014


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