Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
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: 1 minutes 54 seconds

'Howard Shelley … shows himself ideally cast. His poise and vehemence give substance to even the composer's more facile utterances. Time and again Shelley makes it clear that Mendelssohn has a special place in his affections, and although it is invidious to locate the finer moments in his unfailing expertise, certain performances stand out for their exceptional grace and commitment. What suppleness and expressive beauty in the Andante prefacing the evergreen Rondo capriccioso, what virtuosity in the wildly skittering finale of the F sharp minor Fantasia. What quiet eloquence Shelley achieves in the sixth of the Songs without Words (Book 2), where the gondolier sings his plaintive song above a gently rocking accompaniment' (Gramophone) » More

'Eminently attractive, a mix of the agreeably tuneful, romantically pictorial, invigoratingly dashing and elegantly crafted. Shelley is the stylish master of it all … books 2 and 3 of the Songs without words include some gems, and also some spirited numbers (for example, No 4 of Book 2 is marked 'Agitato e con fuoco'). Full of narrative whatever the tempo, this set concludes with the well-known and enigmatic 'Venetianisches Gondollied' with Mendelssohn exploring similar waters to those found in Chopin's Barcarolle. Similar delights follow in Book 3, the concluding 'Duetto' melting the heart in a manner that is rather Schumannesque, and so lovingly shaped by Shelley. Yes, all good stuff, and thoroughly recommended' (International Record Review) » More

Lied in E flat major
composer
composed for Fanny Mendelssohn's birthday on 14 November 1828

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Though still couched in mystery, the origins of the Lieder ohne Worte may lie in a childhood musical game the composer played with his sister, the musical prodigy Fanny Mendelssohn, who reported in a letter from the 1830s that as children they experimented with fitting newly contrived texts to their piano pieces. To Fanny we also owe the revelation that her brother composed for her birthday on 14 November 1828 a Lied ohne Worte, which was preserved in her autograph album, where he recorded a Lied in E flat major. Fanny’s comment is the first documented reference to the new genre, which became inextricably associated with Felix Mendelssohn, though his sister also produced several finely wrought, gem-like examples of piano Lieder. In two parts, Mendelssohn’s Lied in E flat major comprises an expressive Allegro that spills over into a coda marked Grave, the first few bars of which resemble the principal theme of the Lied ohne Worte, Op 19b No 4. Here we find a relatively rare instance of Mendelssohn’s use of self-quotation.

from notes by R Larry Todd © 2014

Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
   English   Français   Deutsch