Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Murray Perahia: Felix Mendelssohn's 'Scottish Sonata'

Murray Perahia performs Felix Mendelssohn's Fantasy in Fsharp ("Scottish Sonata"), opus 28, which Mendelssohn completed in January 1833.

As one music critic astutely notes:
The F sharp minor Fantasia is generally considered one of the best examples of Mendelssohn's virtuoso works for the piano. It has all the marks of the composer's later "Scottish" works, including chords with open fifths, open harmonies, pedaling that creates a fuzzy effect, and powerful, dissonant crescendos.

Mendelssohn builds the Fantasia on simple, elegant themes that can be taken easily through various harmonies and transformed. In three movements, each at a faster tempo than the previous one, the Fantasia resembles Beethoven's Sonata quasi una fantasia, Op. 27, No. 2 ("Moonlight" Sonata) in its overall format and minor key. The material of the Fantasia, however, is nothing like Beethoven's.

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy [1809-1847]: An oil painting done shortly before his death at age thirty-eight. Mendelssohn once said: "Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God."
Painter: Eduard Magnus [1799-1872]. Done in 1846.
Source: Wikipedia

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