Mendelssohn - Piano Trios, Works for Cello & Piano
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Label: Champs Hill Records
Cat No: CHRCD088
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 30th June 2014
WorksAlbumblatt in E minor, op.117
Piano Trio in C minor, op.66
Piano Trio in D minor, op.49
Song without words in D major for cello and piano, op.109
Variations concertantes for cello and piano, op.17
ArtistsGould Piano Trio
Champs Hill Records adds to its Mendelssohn discography with a new release of Piano Trios from the acclaimed Gould Piano Trio: violinist Lucy Gould, cellist Alice Neary and pianist Benjamin Frith. The album includes a priceless cello miniature in the form of the Song without Words in D major Op.109 and the charming Albumblatt for piano in E minor Op.117.
The Gould Piano Trio's Mendelssohn pedigree is extremely fine. From studies in Banff as a young ensemble with the great Menahem Pressler through many performances, and a previous recording of the trios over a decade ago, they bring the perspective of a longer acquaintance with this wonderful music. They were recently compared to the Beaux Arts Trio by the Washington Post for their "musical fire" and dedication to the genre.
Mendelssohn's Piano Trio No.1 in D minor received its first performance in Leipzig in February 1840, with the composer at the piano, and the string parts played by the Gewandhaus Orchestra’s leader, Ferdinand David, and its principal cellist, Franz Carl Wittmann. Robert Schumann’s review of the published score declared the work to be the ‘master trio of today' and is universally recognised as one of his greatest works, along with his Octet.
The Piano Trio No.2 in C minor, composed and published four years later, and dedicated to the violinist Louis Spohr, takes the melody of a German chorale, also known in English as 'Old Hundredth' for its association with the 100th Psalm.
The 'Variations Concertantes' for violin and cello were written when the composer was 20 - a simple homespun melody put through a series of classical variations, culminating in a full-blown romantic finale.
Benjamin Frith writes: "Mendelssohn's cultural inheritance was the great Classical repertoire that he imbibed as a child. In the two masterly Piano Trios and his Variations concertantes he adapts those former principals of structure and form to his own inimitable musical personality".
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