Week Two: Twin Souls of Music Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn
Recommended pieces and recordings:
Quotour Ebene: Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn String Quartets Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel: Das Jahr (The Year), a musical biographical study based on the Hensel’s magnificent year in Italy. Sarah Rothenberg, pianist
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel: Lieder by Christina Hogman, soprano and Roland Pontinen, piano is simply gorgeous. The album also features works by Clara Schumann and Alma Mahler)- gorgeous!
Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel: Chamber Music, available on itunes
Be sure to listen to Fanny's Trio Op. 11 in d minor (see you tube clip below)
Felix Mendelssohn Two works of Felix's adolescence, the Overture to a Midsummer Night’s Dream and the magnificent and ebullient Octet for Strings give a sense of how truly extraordinary this child prodigy was. Both of thee works reveal the sunniest, most charming dimensions of his musical personality.
For a glimpse into the more mature and fervently passionate side of Felix, sample the stormy Piano Trio in d minor (YoYo Ma, Emmanuel Ax and Itzhak Perlman), the alternately introspective and brilliantly virtuousic Variations Seriuses, and the ever favorite Violin Concerto in e minor
Two string quartets are particularly poignant: the String Quartet in A minor Op. 13, was inspired by and dedicated to the memory of Beethoven. It is a work of astonishing depth, an utterly perfect homage that captures the essence of the style of late Beethoven while simultaneously heading in a new direction. Autumnal, elegiac, constructed with technical perfection. Felix's String Quartet No. 6 in f minor was one of his last pieces, written in the depths of grief after Fanny's death and filled with raw power.