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Author Topic: All Mendelssohn Recital Program, ideas sought  (Read 6144 times)
iumonito
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« on: March 03, 2007, 07:10:39 AM »

Hi all,

I got a little Mendelssohn fever and I am toying with the idea of doing a Mendelssohn program after I complete my current project (Mozart 330, 331 and 332).  Here is what I have in mind so far:

Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso Op. 14 (E Major/E Minor)
Song without words Op. 19 No. 3 (A Major)
Song without words Op. 30 No. 6 (F Sharp Minor - One of the Venetian Gondola Songs)
Song without words Op. 102 No. 5 (A major)
Song without words Op. 62 No. 6 (A Major - Spring Song)
Song without words Op. 67 N. 2 (F Sharp Minor)
Song without words Op. 67 N. 4 (C Major - Spinning Song)
Song without words Op. 62 No. 1 (G Major)
Variations Sérieuses Op. 54 (D Minor)

Plus a secret encore or two, from Mendelssohn's transcriptions (Thal? Special suggestions there?)

I think that's about one hour of music, but I have not timed it.  No intermission, of course (It would totally break the atmosphere).

I know the first thought is that this is a lot of Mendelssohn, but think of it for a few moments before you toss it off.  I think it flows pretty nicely (but then, I think multi composer programs are like having Indian, Chinese and Italian all in the same meal!)

What do you think?  You may need to go grab that song without words book to figure out what we are talking about.  I personally don't know them that well by number or anything, but they are so gorgeous!
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cygnusdei
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2007, 08:25:19 AM »

I don't know man, all Mendelssohn is too  ...... austere (like Nanny McPhee).
In any case, do consider Op. 33 no. 3.
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phil13
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2007, 03:20:07 PM »

If you're doing all-Mendelssohn, might I suggest having one more large work to sort of anchor the program? The Variations Serieuses are good, but how about one of the Sonatas as well? Right now, it looks like a lot of little works followed by one huge work- not really balanced.

Although I must say, I like your choice of songs without words. But PLEASE don't do the Spring Song. There are so many more beautiful ones to pick from.

Phil
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gonzalo
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2007, 03:23:50 PM »

For the SWW try Op.53 nº 3.
Also have a look at Mendelssohn's op.16 nº 2, Scherzo.
In addition listen to his etudes and preludes op.104, especially the 3rd etude in Am.

Gonzalo
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amanfang
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2007, 09:31:42 PM »

I like the SWW, but it is a lot.  How about Variations Op. 54?  Or maybe a P&F?  Op. 35. no 1 in e minor is a favorite.
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burstroman
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2007, 12:59:36 AM »

Prelude and Fugue in E, and as an encore, the Mendelssohn-Rachmaninov "Scherzo" from "A Midsummer's Nights Dream.
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numerian
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2007, 02:11:13 PM »

There is nothing wrong with the Spring Song.  It is gorgeous music, very difficult to play (in terms of balancing tones), and never programmed in professional recitals.

The Variations Serieuses may push your program beyond an hour.  It also continues the pattern of 2 - 3 minute selections.  You might be better substituting one of his rarely played early sonatas.

Either way, your program would require a high degree of technical skill and interpretive ability.  Mendelssohn was a well-esteemed virtuoso and his music is never as simple as it looks at first.
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iumonito
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2007, 08:38:41 PM »

Wow, great suggestions. Thanks all.

I tried the program yesterday, it is 45 minutes long (about 8 for the Rondo, about 23 for the selection of songs and 13 for the Variations) so there is space for another 15 minutes of music.

I also read some of his other stuff, decided on one encore (secret, but has not been mentioned) and narrowed down what I want to add to Op, 28, Op. 7 and/or one or more pieces from Op. 104.  Op. 7 is in the lead, but I am mindful that each movement is about the same size as a Song Without Words.  If it is Op. 7, it would open the program.  If Op. 28 would go after the Rondo.  If 104 it would go after the SSW.

I am curious whether any of this music is Fanny's.  Will have to research.

I am pleasantly surprised no one has screamed "boring!"
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amanfang
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2007, 09:59:20 PM »

Prelude and Fugue!!!!!!!!!
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phil13
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2007, 10:33:30 PM »

I would DEFINITELY add the Scottish Fantasy in F# minor Op.28. I almost forgot about that. It would make a great addition to the program.

Phil
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iumonito
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2007, 11:45:52 PM »

Cool, good to know, good to know.  That's very enthusiastic Phil.

Op. 28 is in.  I am going to aim for next spring.  If I get it done, I'll dedicate whatever comes out of Op. 28 to you.

Cheers!  Let's call it closed.  (Comments are still welcome, but I like this program now and it feels true).  I changed the order of the SSW, forgot to mention that.

7
14
28

Intermission

19.3
62.3
30.6
102.5
67.2
67.4
62.1
54
(one encore so far, but who knows?  Always a surprise).

I'll say:  Boy, that's a lot of Mendelssohn.
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desordre
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2007, 02:27:27 AM »

 Dear Iumonito:
 I just want to say that your idea is very cool. Mendelssohn is a somewhat neglected composer by pianists, and I wish I could attend to your recital.
 Best wishes! And very good luck.
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iumonito
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2007, 02:48:53 PM »

Thanks!

Let me know where you are (city).  I don't do this things in a hurry, so maybe we can make it that I go play it in your city sometime late next year.  Who knows.

I don't make a living out of music, so I have a lot of freedom.  Smiley

I tried the program yesterday and it has become a little heavy.  I'll work on it for a while a seek your comments again in a few months when I understand better what's going on.
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cygnusdei
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2007, 09:36:13 AM »

I am pleasantly surprised no one has screamed "boring!"

Oh well, all in good fun: Mendelssohn is like Saint-Saëns without the fun  Tongue
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cloches_de_geneve
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2007, 05:32:45 PM »

Scottish Fantasy (or Sonata) op. 28 is a masterpiece, in some ways comaparable with moonlight or appassionata.
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rafant
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2007, 05:19:43 PM »

I'd suggest Op 117 "Album Leaf", wherever there is place for a very virile in character piece, in spite of the nickname.
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burstroman
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2007, 03:59:21 AM »

 Rafant: I recently "discovered" that very work by accident and am enjoying it.  Hopefully there are more gems to be brought to light.
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pianowelsh
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2007, 12:11:26 PM »

Im really glad to see a couple of people have reccomended the F# min fantasy!  i would also suggest this.  May I make a suggestion as to the structuring however.  Rather tha the Variations at the end.. I would play them at the opening of the programme as they begin in a Bachian austere way..and then develop..this would makea  good substitute for a prelude and fugue - like a prelude with diverse variations instead Roll Eyes I think to put your songs without words then would be a good idea...particularly you major key ones as the variations are a bit gloomy..so lift the mood a little. These will probably conclude at circ the 45 min mark - which would be about the first half of a normal recital so I would conclude your group with a virtuosic one with a solid ending...You can then break the mood and maybe have a very short platform break (not interval per say) - will give the audience a couple of mins to get coughs and stretch for a bit and prepare for the final onslaught...You then come back in and wow them with the mysterious murmurring arpeggis and broken chords of the Fantasy in  F#  which is circa 15 mins actually (I did for an exam once) and knock them between the eyes with the virtuoso presto!with the nice strong ending...you are then ready to give a variation on mendelssohn (transcription) for encore which shows a different side.

i think its a wonderfull Idea for all mendelssohn recital - ive had the idea myself for a while..he is unfairly passed over for Chopin and Schumann, but is every bit as great.  Very few composers in history can equal his ability to write a beautiful melody. I think this will make your ALL mendelssohn programme workable because people like tunes and there is so much which is singable in his music..audiences find it very accessible.  There is too much 'look at me programming' these days and not enough concern for audience accessibility.
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