“I wrote it in a few days and almost carelessly” wrote the 22-year-old Felix Mendelssohn about his first piano concerto, which he himself premiered while on a visit to Munich in 1831.
Mendelssohn wanted to ready the Second Piano Concerto for its premiere in Birmingham, ten years after his First Piano Concerto, and he wanted to impress the English concert-going audience and critics. The composer was known to write abundantly and fast, and yet, the Second Piano Concerto bedeviled him for quite a long time before he was able to complete it.
All three works are inventively inspired, rich in melody and full of technical hurdles for the soloist, especially the uncharacteristically fiery, fast and furious opening Allegro movements of both concertos.
The ONDINE CD includes the composer’s Capriccio Brillant along with the Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2. German pianist and conductor Lars Vogt plays impeccably, while impressively conducting from the piano the fine Orchestre de Chambre de Paris.
Rafael de Acha ALL ABOUT THE ARTS
Published by ALL ABOUT THE ARTS
Rafael de Acha has enjoyed a distinguished career in the arts as a performer, stage director, producer, and educator. He was born and grew up in Cuba. At the age of 17 he moved to the United States to study Drama at the University of Minnesota, and later Languages at L.A. City College, Music at the Juilliard School of Music, at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, and at the New England Conservatory of Music, from which he received the Master's degree. He has taught courses on the History of Music at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and at Florida International University, and contributed writings and reviews to Seen and Heard International (www.seenandheard-international.com ) and to this blog. He co-founded the award-winning New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida, where he produced and staged twenty seasons of classical and contemporary theater, including fifty world premieres of plays that went on to have international and national productions on and off Broadway, including Ana in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz (Pulitzer Prize for Drama 2002 and Tony Nomination 2003.) In 2006 he was presented with a citation from The Dade County Cultural Affairs Council for “trailblazing contributions to the arts in South Florida.”
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