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Mendelssohn: Cello Sonatas 1 & 2 / Harrell, Canino


Release Date: 06/25/2007 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 430198   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Lynn HarrellBruno Canino
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The combined skills of Harrell and Canino make this Decca release an obvious leader in its field, and the recorded sound, too, is also of the highest order. A splendid offering.

Mendelssohn completed his First Cello Sonata during the autumn of 1838. Like the Variations Concertantes which predate it by almost a decade, the work was intended for private performance by the composer's brother Paul, a wealthy financier and capable amateur cellist. It assumes the heroic mantle of the Beethoven A major Sonata, Op. 69, and its melodic breadth and elevated dignity prompted Schumann to suggest that it was ''a sonata for the most refined family circle, to be enjoyed at its best, perhaps, after some poems by Goethe or Lord Byron''.
Read more Such is Lynn Harrell's belief in its qualities that no such extraneous stimuli could possibly enable the sonata to register more powerfully than it does here. His performance is perfectly paced, intellectually compelling and affectionately responsive, and I have never heard the work better played.

The more imposing D major Sonata towers above its predecessor in musical splendour and mastery of the form, and yet it can often disappoint in unsympathetic hands. The young British cellist, Richard Lester, and the pianist, Susan Tomes on Hyperion, meet its more exacting demands adequately, but they cannot match Harrell's nobility of utterance. Canino, too, is far more subtle and polished, particularly in the chorale episode of the G major Adagio. Harrell's playing has an ardent vigour and dynamism in the outer movements which is hard to resist, and his characteristic weight of tone is remarkably controlled.

Harrell and Canino offer a lucid, yet straightforward account of the Variations concertantes, in which all the expected economies of scale have been ably considered. Lester and Tomes are refreshingly unmannered, and offer a thoroughly accomplished Assai tranquillo, and the Op. 109 Song without words, Mendelssohn's last work for cello and piano. Harrell, on the other hand, includes both this and an earlier song Op. 19 No. 1, and omits the Assai tranquillo, scarcely a major hardship since the work ends with a pause on the dominant, suggesting it may have been purposely left incomplete.

The combined skills of Harrell and Canino make this new Decca release an obvious leader in its field, and the recorded sound, too, is also of the highest order. A splendid offering.

-- Michael Jameson, Gramophone [10/1992]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Cello and Piano no 1 in B flat major, Op. 45 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Lynn Harrell (Cello), Bruno Canino (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1989 
Venue:  Walthamstow Town Hall, London 
Length: 25 Minutes 8 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Cello and Piano no 2 in D major, Op. 58 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Bruno Canino (Piano), Lynn Harrell (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1989 
Venue:  Walthamstow Town Hall, London 
Length: 24 Minutes 23 Secs. 
3.
Variations Concertantes for Cello and Piano, Op. 17 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Bruno Canino (Piano), Lynn Harrell (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1989 
Venue:  Walthamstow Town Hall, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 10 Secs. 
4.
Songs (6), Op. 19a: no 1, Frühlingslied by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Lynn Harrell (Cello), Bruno Canino (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/1989 
Venue:  Walthamstow Town Hall, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
5.
Song without words for Cello and Piano in D major, Op. 109 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Lynn Harrell (Cello), Bruno Canino (Piano)
Written: 1845 
Date of Recording: 10/1989 
Venue:  Walthamstow Town Hall, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 

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