Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Mendelssohn's Piano Excitement

My favorite of all the classical music genres is the piano concerto.  Especially when you have one as exciting as the Mendelssohn concerto in G-minor.  I remember my daughter's classical piano teacher saying that a concerto was like a contest-the soloist vs. the orchestra.  In Mendelssohn's 1st piano concerto there is no doubt, that after a quick fury by the orchestra, the pianist comes in to take charge.  In that way it is like Beethoven's Emperor concerto [probably the greatest piano concerto ever written].  While the orchestra makes numerous attempts to take over, Mendelssohn makes sure it is the pianist who is in control of this concerto. 

Felix Mendelssohn [1809-1847]
This is not a very long concerto but it does not lack in great excitement.  It is one of my favorite piano concertos.  With the excitement comes one of Mendelssohn's wonderful traits-his employing beautiful melodies in his works.  The first movement, Molto Allegro con Fuoco, bursts with excitement from the very start.  There is no break between the first and second movement as it is connected with a bridge. [6:51-7:27] The bridge is a slow tempo giving it an appropriate bridge into the moving and beautiful Andante second movement [which begins at 7:28].  The third movement, Presto-Molto Allegro y Vivace, which begins at 12:18 returns to the dramatic exciting character of the first movement.  

I usually just tell you to turn up the volume and enjoy.  This time I hope you will also play this video in full screen to watch the is brilliant virtuoso performance of this young pianist Yuja Wang.  On twitter she is @YujaWang  

Enjoy some Mendelssohn piano excitement!

Felix Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto #1 in G-minor:

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