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Track(s) taken from CDA68059

Lied in E flat major

composer
composed for Fanny Mendelssohn's birthday on 14 November 1828

Howard Shelley (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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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

Cover artwork: The Temple of Juno in Agrigento by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840)
De Agostini Picture Library / Bridgeman Art Library, London
 
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Reviews

'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
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

Bien que toujours nimbées de mystère, les origines des Lieder ohne Worte pourraient bien remonter à un jeu musical auquel Felix et sa sœur Fanny se livraient enfants. Dans une lettre des années 1830, cette musicienne prodige raconta comment ils essayaient de faire coller à leurs pièces pour piano des textes nouvellement inventés. Elle nous apprend aussi que son frère lui composa pour son anniversaire, le 14 novembre 1828, un Lied ohne Worte qu’elle conserva dans son album autographe, où il nota un Lied en mi bémol majeur. Fanny nous offre là la première référence documentée à ce genre nouveau, qui allait être inextricablement lié à son frère Felix, encore qu’elle-même ait produit plusieurs petits bijoux de lieder pianistiques, joliment ciselés. Dans le Lied en mi bémol majeur, un expressif Allegro déborde dans une coda marquée Grave, dont les premières mesures ressemblent au thème principal du Lied ohne Worte, op.19b nº 4. C’est là un exemple relativement rare d’autocitation mendelssohnienne.

extrait des notes rédigées par R Larry Todd © 2014
Français: Hypérion

Obwohl die Ursprünge der Lieder ohne Worte noch immer nicht ganz klar sind, ist es möglich, dass sie auf ein musikalisches Spiel zurückgehen, das der Komponist als Kind mit seiner ebenfalls musikalisch hochbegabten Schwester Fanny spielte, die in einem Brief aus den 1830er Jahren berichtete, dass sie als Kinder neuerfundene Texte experimentell auf ihre Klavierstücke setzten. Fanny verdanken wir auch die Offenbarung, dass ihr Bruder ein Lied ohne Worte zu ihrem Geburtstag am 14. November 1828 komponiert hatte, das in ihrem Autographen-Album erhalten ist, in das er ein Lied in Es-Dur eintrug. Fannys Kommentar ist der erste dokumentierte Hinweis auf das neue Genre, das mit Mendelssohn untrennbar in Verbindung gebracht wird, obwohl auch sie mehrere feingearbeitete, juwelengleiche Klavierlieder komponierte. Mendelssohns Es-Dur Lied hat eine zweiteilige Anlage und enthält ein expressives Allegro, das in eine Coda hineinfließt, die mit Grave überschrieben ist und deren Anfangstakte an das Hauptthema des Liedes ohne Worte op. 19b Nr. 4 erinnern. Hier zitiert Mendelssohn sich selbst, was sonst in seinem Oeuvre nur selten vorkommt.

aus dem Begleittext von R Larry Todd © 2014
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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