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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66567
Recording details: September 1991
City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, Scotland
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: May 1992
Total duration: 41 minutes 28 seconds

Concerto for two pianos in A flat major
composer
12 November 1824; Alfred a Kalmus Ltd

Allegro vivace  [17'16]
Andante  [10'10]
Allegro vivace  [14'02]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The first movement of the A flat major Two-Piano Concerto is Mendelssohn’s longest concerto movement, and despite the composer’s declared preference for the E major Concerto, it displays a greater awareness of internal balance and structural proportions than its younger companion. The Mozartian opening theme (shades of the A major Concerto K414!) is embellished by some decidedly un-Mozartian virtuoso cascades during the soloists’ exposition, although a second lyrical idea is decidedly more restrained in its pyrotechnical aspirations.

The wistful Andante is clearly premonitory of the main theme of the G minor Piano Concerto’s slow movement, even if the continually flowing 6/8 metre and self-conscious virtuoso flourishes betray a certain lack of formal confidence in comparison with the later work.

Weber clearly marks the starting point for the good-natured Allegro vivace finale, its jocular high spirits being effectively contained by passing moments of mild contrapuntal ingenuity. The exuberant coda forces the main theme into overdrive, betraying a refreshingly boyish naivety, in stark contrast to the startling individuality and resourcefulness of the work as a whole. At only fifteen yeary of age, Mendelssohn was no mere fledgling composer but a highly creative intelligence on the verge of artistic maturity.

from notes by Julian Haylock © 1992

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