It's good to have Rena Kyriakou's lovingly cultivated Mendelssohn Songs Without Words available again through Arkivmusic.com's on-demand reprint program, despite Vox's dry 1962 sonics and occasional fuzzy residue on high notes that I remember from my old LP pressings--is that a master tape defect? Kyriakou favors leisurely tempos and spins legato lines with subtle and attractive shadings that make even old standbys like the Spring Song and the Hunting Song emerge freshly minted to jaded ears. In numbers such as Hope, the Fleecy Cloud, Spinning Song, and the Evening Star, hear the striking timbral differentiation between the main melodies and the perfectly controlled, softly whirling accompaniments, or notice the sustained breadth she bringsRead more to the Duetto and the Elegy.
A thoughtfully integrated yet scintillating-when-appropriate (the final variations) rendition of the Variations sérieuses proves more than mere filler, although more dynamically characterized and colorful interpretations can be had, past (Horowitz, Cortot) and present (Perahia, Thibaudet). I hope the balance of Kyriakou's Vox Mendelssohn cycle will appear in due course.
Unalloyed joyFebruary 12, 2013By Philip Temple (Alexandra, New Zealand)See All My Reviews"Although not a musician or music scholar, I have been enjoying concerts, recitals and recordings of classical music since I was a teenager,now too long ago to remember exactly! During most of that long time, I had always regarded the music of Mendelssohn as enjoyable and melodious but some cuts below Beethoven, Schubert et al. Then, about 10 years ago, a Hamburg friend sent me a single CD of the late Rena Kyriakou playing some of Mendelssohn's 'Songs Without Words.' What I discovered was that there was something simply joyful about this music.It did not carry or intend to carry weight or meaning, but was composed just to prompt pleasure and light-heartedness, a musical bypass to everyday care. I gave this CD away to my grandsons who show much musical talent and then discovered I could get a double CD of Kyriakou's version of all the 'Songs Without Words' from ArkivMusic. I have listened to other pianists play these 'Songs' but Rena Kyriakou, for me, had exactly the right liquid tone, the right 'knowledge' of what this music is - unalloyed joy."Report Abuse