Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mendelssohn - The Piano Concertos - Kirschnereit, Beermann







Kirschnereit is his own man when it comes to Mendelssohn and the piano. Typically, players emphasize the lyrical-romantic axis when playing Mendelssohn. The risk of focusing on that axis is mainly that Mendelssohn in his piano music can come off, sounding far too much like a German middle class, drawing room composer, with musical colors more often pastel than not, musical effects much more genteel than not. Kirschnereit knows enough to phrase those melodies with singing verve. However, he also adds punch. He prefers not to peddle any more than he has to, so his playing comes through with enormousMatthias Kirschnereit - Pianist clarity. These talents serve Mendelssohn as well as they have already served in that Arte Nova released complete set of Mozart piano concertos. Beyond the first two concertos, the additional lure of this set will be the reconstructed piano concerto in E minor, and the early student work for piano and string orchestra. That earlier music is just fine, though perhaps not as forcefully characterized as Mendelssohn's later music of large reputation. You can compare this early concerto with the contemporary Mendelssohn string symphonies, if you want to get a sense of their position in the composer's development. The reconstructed piano concerto is new, unfamiliar. Scholar Larry Todd edited two movements from extant Mendelssohn sketches and drafts, which were mostly complete. The composer broke off working on this, his pending third piano concerto, to write the entirely memorable Violin Concerto in E minor. Then he never quite got back to finishing up those drafts. The most controversial aspect of this reconstruction may be the editor's decision to use the final movement of the famous violin concerto, transcribed for keyboard solo with band, as the concluding movement. To my ears, it all sounds fine, true to the composer's style. Five stars, recommended.


flac, scans by Thomas

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