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Mendelssohn: Works For Cello And Piano / Isserlis, Tan


Release Date: 02/06/2008 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 62553   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Steven IsserlisMelvyn Tan
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Mendelssohn played with freshness and vigor, subtlety and panache.

In her review of Lester's and Tomes's issue of Mendelssohn's complete works for cello and piano, JOC praised this duo for both their ''acute telepathy'' and for the ability to sound ''very much on the composer's own imaginative wavelength''. With the present period-instrument alternative, Isserlis and Tan offer comparably idiomatic, well-turned performances; but closer parity between cello and fortepiano helps to generate even greater expressive concentration. Moreover, Isserlis and Tan's predilection for fast tempos gives their performances an added freshness and vigor. Try, for example, the First Sonata in B flat major (which Mendelssohn wrote for his
Read more brother, Paul, in 1838), where the second movement's dual function as scherzo and slow movement is convincingly characterized, and the music's passionate outbursts sound arrestingly potent. The Variations concertantes, Op. 17, were also written for Paul Mendelssohn and here, too, Isserlis's and Tan's fine blend of subtlety and panache (enhanced by the fortepiano's relatively delicate timbre) affectingly conveys the music's nostalgic mood, and culminates powerfully in the work's conclusion. In the D major Second Sonata, Isserlis's and Tan's spontaneity and energy in the outer movements, skilfully controlled variety of timbre and touch in the scherzo, and dramatic opposition of chorale (piano) and recitative (cello) in the third movement—with its striking resolution in the piano's own recitative statement—sound immensely compelling.

The Assai tranquillo, written during a journey from Dusseldorf to Leipzig in 1835, bears a touching dedication from the composer to his friend, Julius Rietz. Here, as in the charming Song without words, Op. 109, sympathetic tonal balance between cello and fortepiano in the softly lit recording poignantly brings out the music's sentiment. Lester's and Tomes's version is warm and poetic but Isserlis and Tan effectively draw out the work's inconclusive ending to create a more telling analogy of the eternal nature of friendship.

-- Gramophone [3/1995]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Cello and Piano no 1 in B flat major, Op. 45 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Steven Isserlis (Cello), Melvyn Tan (Fortepiano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1994 
Venue:  Blackheath Concert Halls, London 
Length: 22 Minutes 32 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Cello and Piano no 2 in D major, Op. 58 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Steven Isserlis (Cello), Melvyn Tan (Fortepiano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1994 
Venue:  Blackheath Concert Halls, London 
Length: 24 Minutes 17 Secs. 
3.
Variations Concertantes for Cello and Piano, Op. 17 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Melvyn Tan (Fortepiano), Steven Isserlis (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1994 
Venue:  Blackheath Concert Halls, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 35 Secs. 
4.
Song without words for Cello and Piano in D major, Op. 109 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Melvyn Tan (Fortepiano), Steven Isserlis (Cello)
Written: 1845 
Date of Recording: 01/1994 
Venue:  Blackheath Concert Halls, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 46 Secs. 
5.
Assai tranquillo for Cello and Piano in B minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Melvyn Tan (Fortepiano), Steven Isserlis (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1994 
Venue:  Blackheath Concert Halls, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 

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