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Old 01-18-2017, 06:08 AM   #1
Peter
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Lightbulb Rarer Mendelssohn

Amongst the familiar, some unknown works here that some (including myself) might like to explore further - so much of Mendelssohn is rarely performed.
http://www.classical-music.com/artic...ix-mendelssohn
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:59 PM   #2
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Well, I didn't think the Piano Concerto #1 was rare but it's a fabulous work and Wang is just superb - gorgeous and talented!! This must have been one of the very late conducting gigs from Mazur.

It's hard to fault any of the works of Mendelssohn really. I love his "Hebrides" but I'll certainly listen to the rest of those lesser known works listed.

In 2015 I visited the Mendelssohn house in Leipzig, which isn't far from the Schumann house. Apparently Felix lived at much the same pace as that represented in the last movement of the Piano Concerto #1 and, as a consequence, his immune system was seriously compromised and he died young (as we know). I didn't realize this until I read about it at that Leipzig house. Mendelssohn literally burned the candle at both ends.

It's amusing to read the comments from Berlioz about the piano concerto - one and the same man who wrote that awful and interminable bore, "Symphonie Fantastique".
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humoresque View Post
It's amusing to read the comments from Berlioz about the piano concerto - one and the same man who wrote that awful and interminable bore, "Symphonie Fantastique".
Hmm are you being humouresque?!
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Old 01-20-2017, 11:40 AM   #4
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Hmm are you being humouresque?!
Not really, but I know lots of people love this work. I used to argue with a (late) beloved friend who adored Berlioz and "Symphonie Fantastique" in particular. He also loved "The Childhood of Christ". We got into many friendly disputes over this and one day when I said I liked something by Philip Glass he replied, "Philip who?" It was an ongoing gag between us. This kind of banter went back and forth over 20 years.

It's hard to believe this work by Berlioz came so shortly after the death of Beethoven and yet is so remote from his work as to have almost come from another planet. But when Berlioz could stop obsessing about Harriet Smithson long enough he'd have reiterated that he was the natural heir to Beethoven. That's opium for you!!
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Old 01-20-2017, 12:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Humoresque View Post
Not really, but I know lots of people love this work. I used to argue with a (late) beloved friend who adored Berlioz and "Symphonie Fantastique" in particular. He also loved "The Childhood of Christ". We got into many friendly disputes over this and one day when I said I liked something by Philip Glass he replied, "Philip who?" It was an ongoing gag between us. This kind of banter went back and forth over 20 years.

It's hard to believe this work by Berlioz came so shortly after the death of Beethoven and yet is so remote from his work as to have almost come from another planet. But when Berlioz could stop obsessing about Harriet Smithson long enough he'd have reiterated that he was the natural heir to Beethoven. That's opium for you!!
Well yes obviously we all have different likes and I can recall disliking the Symphonie Fantastique on first hearing it as a teenager, but at least you are admitting the striking originality of the work.

Back to Mendelssohn and yes I would say his first piano concerto is quite rarely performed in comparison to other concertos and that's a great pity. Also Hummel's piano concertos in A minor and B minor are very rewarding to listen to, though taxing for the pianist - Stephen Hough made a superb recording of them a while back.
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Old 01-20-2017, 01:47 PM   #6
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I was never a fan of the Symphonie Fantastique either. But sometimes something comes along and totally changes my opinion of a piece or a composer. When I was in my teens, the only thing I hated more than listening to Bach was having to play Bach for my piano lessons! But I soon got over that Maybe something will come along and change the Symphonie Fantastique for me someday.
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