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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

'Coombs and Munro prove ideal advocates, playing with delectable point and imagination' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'The sheer joy of playing this music bubbles over in every measure' (American Record Guide)

'Fine talent is on display here … this programme makes ideal listening as well as offering welcome insight into Mendelssohn's great genius' (CDReview)

'Sensitive and enchanting' (Piano, Germany)

Concerto for two pianos in A flat major
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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