Mendelssohn - Piano Concertos, Variations serieuses, etc. | Deutsche Grammophon 4836471

Mendelssohn - Piano Concertos, Variations serieuses, etc.


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Label: Deutsche Grammophon

Cat No: 4836471

Barcode: 0028948364718

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 1st February 2019

Gramophone Editor's Choice



Jan Lisiecki explores a pair of early romantic masterpieces: Mendelssohn’s Piano Concertos in G minor and D minor, in which he is accompanied by the internationally acclaimed Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of New York.

Complemented with a selection of some of Mendelssohn’s most brilliant pieces for solo piano: the Variations sérieuses, the Rondo capriccioso and the “Venetian Boat Song” from the Songs Without Words. All three are works that mean a great deal to Lisiecki who was delighted to be able to include these works and give listeners further insight into the composer’s dazzling keyboard writing, beyond his very well-known concertos.

The twenty-three-year old Canadian chose to record the concertos with one of the world’s leading chamber ensembles, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. This elite group of players from New York are unusual in that they rehearse and perform without a conductor.

An enthused Jan Lisiecki says about the collaboration: “That was quite amazing to see. Usually it’s the conductor and I who are listening, but here you have a group of twenty people all listening to what was just done and hearing for themselves what they will change.”

Lisiecki is opposed to the idea of albums that are essentially “collages” of the works in his repertoire, he prefers bringing together works that complement one another programmatically or in terms of their character.


This is the third account I’ve had of Mendelssohn’s concertos in as many months and, from the off, the young Canadian Jan Lisiecki sparkles and shines, bringing to the opening movement of the G minor First Concerto an effortless rapport with the Orpheus CO players... In the D minor Second Concerto’s Allegro appassionato Lisiecki and the Orpheus offer a lean-toned, high-energy account that is again very telling. But it is the Adagio that is particularly fine here, filled with a sense of confiding that again comes from relatively small forces. ... the ‘Venetian Gondola Song’ from the Songs Without Words is beautiful indeed, concluding a delightful disc.  Harriet Smith
Gramophone April 2019

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