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Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel: Piano Sonatas In C & G Minor

Album Summary

>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Allegro molto for piano in C minor
>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Notturno for piano in G minor (H. 337)
>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Sonata for Piano in C minor (H. 128)
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Song (Lied) for piano in E flat major (for Fanny Mendelssohn)
>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Sonata for Piano in G minor (H. 395)
>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Adagio in E flat major, for piano
>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Andante con moto, for piano in E major
>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Sonata (Capriccio) for piano (H. 113)
>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Allegro molto agitato in D minor, for piano
>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Schluss, for piano
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

It is only relatively recently that Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel has stepped out of the shadow of her more famous sibling Felix. Nearly all of her five hundred or so compositions remained unpublished during her lifetime, despite their undeniable beauty, lyricism and passion. This volume of piano music spans almost her entire adult life, from youthful experiments to music written less than a year before her untimely death, giving the listener a whirlwind tour of a much-underrated composer.

"Unlike some of the niche releases that find their way to market these days, this is one that probably needed to be made. Very few competent pianists have concentrated on the music of Felix Mendelssohn's talented elder sister, and those that do generally overlook the two sonatas she wrote in 1824 and 1843. Schmidt makes them the centerpieces of her program, and by doing so gives us the chance to better know this composer as a thinking artist rather than a composer of pretty salon pieces. Neither of the sonatas is terribly ground-breaking in style or substance, but each does have its charms." - American Record Guide

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada (11/04/2007-11/06/2007).



Reviews

Fanny Mendelssohn Has Something To Say
I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this disc on first hearing it. The recording quality is excellent, and has good dynamic range. Initially, though, it was difficult for me to avoid the inevitable comparisons with Fanny’s brother Felix. However, upon a second and third listening on my home stereo, the talents of both Fanny and Heather Schmidt (the pianist) made themselves readily apparent. This recording contains pieces from various points throughout Fanny’s all too short life, and clearly demonstrate the talents of a growing composer as well as those of a more mature developed individual, despite the fact that she was discouraged from publishing because of her gender. Make no mistake, Fanny has something to say. The turbulent Allegro molto in C minor is defiant, with whirlwinds of chords that travel up and down the keyboard, which contrasts nicely with the more wistful three movement Sonata in C minor, the latter being dedicated to her brother “in his absence”. And a marvelous example of a more mature composition can be found in the Piano Sonata in G minor, a strong yet not too forceful work that grabbed this listener by the ears and made him stop what he was doing until the fourth movement had finished. Darker harmonies, albeit strangely warm at the same time, can be found in the Sonata o Capriccio, yet another piece on this disc that I liked a great deal. And there is no denying that the Notturno in G minor, written by a more mature Fanny, shows why this composer is worth exploring and listening to. Yes, this is a composer with something to say. And with Heather Schmidt bringing the pieces to life, Fanny’s compositions do indeed have a voice. This listener wants to hear more.
Submitted on 05/31/10 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Allegro molto for piano in C minor
  • Performer: Heather Schmidt (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada (11/04/2007-11/06/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Notturno for piano in G minor (H. 337)
  • Performer: Heather Schmidt (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada (11/04/2007-11/06/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1838

>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Sonata for Piano in C minor (H. 128)
  • Performer: Heather Schmidt (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada (11/04/2007-11/06/2007)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1824

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Song (Lied) for piano in E flat major (for Fanny Mendelssohn)
  • Performer: Heather Schmidt (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada (11/04/2007-11/06/2007)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 11/14/1828

>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Sonata for Piano in G minor (H. 395)
  • Performer: Heather Schmidt (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada (11/04/2007-11/06/2007)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1843

>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Adagio in E flat major, for piano
  • Performer: Heather Schmidt (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada (11/04/2007-11/06/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Andante con moto, for piano in E major
  • Performer: Heather Schmidt (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada (11/04/2007-11/06/2007)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Sonata (Capriccio) for piano (H. 113)
  • Performer: Heather Schmidt (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada (11/04/2007-11/06/2007)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1824

>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Allegro molto agitato in D minor, for piano
  • Performer: Heather Schmidt (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada (11/04/2007-11/06/2007)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny : Schluss, for piano
  • Performer: Heather Schmidt (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada (11/04/2007-11/06/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic