[ Chandos Intro / CD ]
Release Date: Tuesday 1 August 2006
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"Howard Shelley offers marvellous playing in every respect; fresh, sparkling and dashing in the fast movements, poetic and touching in the slower ones."
(Penguin Guide Rosette recording for Piano Concertos)
'Mendelssohn's First Piano Concerto is an entirely delightful and comparatively well-kept secret, conceived in the composer's head during the journey which led to the writing of the Italian Symphony, and bubbling over with much of that work's melodic exuberance.'
'This is marvellous playing in every respect: fresh, sparkling and dashing in the fast movements, poetic and touching in the slower ones. He despatches the Capriccio brilliant with similar aplomb, and the recording balance is admirably judged, with rich, truthful recorded sound'
The Penguin Complete Guide
A greater prodigy even than Mozart, German composer, pianist and conductor Felix Mendelssohn was composing fully mature works from the age of 12. Stirred by his classical upbringing and inspired by art and nature, his music flows with melodic freshness and inventive orchestration. The energy, clarity and tunefulness of the Symphony No.4, the Italian Symphony has made it his most popular symphony.
Mendelssohn's exhilarating Italian Symphony is one of the warmest vivacious and most melodic works in the repertoire and has understandably become one of the most famous works in the catalogue. Evidence of his mastery and freshness is so abundant.
The First Piano Concerto is no less appealing, with its catchy tunes, brilliantly exciting writing and romantic sweep-virtuosic rather than profound, overflows with youthful élan. These works are coupled with his most famous and glittering shorter compositions, including his celebrated Hebrides Overture. These famous Mendelssohn works are treated to first-rate performances and sound.
The Hebrides, Op. 26
Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25
Wedding March from incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream
Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 'Italian'