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Sonata in A major, Op 65 No 3


In common with his German predecessors, contemporaries and successors—Beethoven, Spohr, Weber, Schumann, Brahms, Bruch, Reger—Mendelssohn, pianist and organist, master of the majestic and the modest, the supreme Bach revivalist of his generation, married Classicism and Romanticism. Weighing counterpoint and chorale, profundity and piety, the late A major Organ Sonata (completed in Bad Soden near Frankfurt am Main, 17 August 1844, a month before the Violin Concerto) was the third of a set of six, culminating a series of compositions for the instrument begun in Berlin in the 1820s. Central to its design is a four-part fugue in A minor (on a 4/4 subject led by a bold anacrusis head-motif [E-F-D-G sharp] announced in the bass followed by tenor, alto and soprano entries) offset against a pedal line on the 1524 Lutheran chorale Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu Dir (Psalm 130, ‘Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord’). This fugue is flanked by matching prologue and interlude paragraphs in the major, con moto maestoso, fortissimo, the second tonally milder. Tempo (andante tranquillo), metre (3/4) and atmosphere (piano e dolce) change for the final section, an epilogue/quasi-voluntary flowering from the upbeat. Witnessing Mendelssohn’s life-long interest in the Beethoven idea of continuous ‘sonata’, the whole plays without a break.

from notes by Ates Orga 2007


Mendelssohn: Music for organ
CDD220292CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
The Organ of Buckingham Palace Ballroom
SIGCD114Download only


Movement 1: Con moto maestoso
Track 14 on CDD22029 CD1 [7'53] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Track 3 on SIGCD114 [7'07] Download only
Movement 2: Andante tranquillo
Track 15 on CDD22029 CD1 [2'38] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Track 4 on SIGCD114 [2'18] Download only

Track-specific metadata for CDD22029 disc 1 track 15

Movement 2: Andante tranquillo
Recording date
14 November 1990
Recording venue
St Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Mendelssohn: Organ Music (CDA66491/2)
    Disc 1 Track 15
    Release date: March 1992
    Deletion date: September 1997
    2CDs Superseded by CDD22029
  2. Mendelssohn: Music for organ (CDD22029)
    Disc 1 Track 15
    Release date: September 1997
    2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
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