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Capriccio in F sharp minor, Op 5
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When Gioacchino Rossini heard Mendelssohn play his Capriccio in F sharp minor Op 5 (1825), he mused ‘Ça sent la sonate de Scarlatti’ (‘That has the feeling of a Scarlatti sonata’). Indeed, with its quirky leaps, twisting figurations and register displacements, the Capriccio traces a lineage extending back to Domenico Scarlatti, whose zesty sonatas had been favoured by Muzio Clementi, the teacher of Ludwig Berger, with whom the young Mendelssohn studied piano and, for a while, composition. Formally, the work unfolds in two contrasting sections, alternating as ABAB. The A section features a series of awkwardly expanding leaps and jolting diminished-seventh harmonies, betraying why Mendelssohn referred to Op 5 as his ‘verrücktes Capriccio’ (‘madcap capriccio’). In contrast, the B section is studiously contrapuntal, and pits a sturdy, fugue-like subject against a rushing counter-subject. With Bachian ease, Mendelssohn later manipulates the subject by presenting it upside down in mirror inversion, and eventually in combination with its original form.

from notes by R Larry Todd © 2013

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA67935 track 1
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-13-93501
Duration
6'05
Recording date
27 March 2012
Recording venue
St Michael's Church, Highgate, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Annabel Connellan
Recording engineer
Ben Connellan
Hyperion usage
  1. Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 1 (CDA67935)
    Disc 1 Track 1
    Release date: March 2013
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