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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Johannes Moser And Alisdair Beatson Capture Mendelssohn Siblings’ Nuances To Perfection

By Norman Lebrecht on October 4, 2019

Johannes Moser and Alisdair Beatson
Johannes Moser and Alisdair Beatson offer a rare opportunity to hear both Mendelssohn siblings in one superb recording.

Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn: Works for Cello and Piano (Pentatone)

★★★★☆

🎧 Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify

The near-symbiotic relationship between Mendelssohn and his older sister, examined in my forthcoming book Genius and Anxiety, was so central to both musicians’ lives that Felix was felled by a stroke on hearing of Fanny’s death and died before the year was out.

Fanny, the first to evince musical talent, was silenced by their father as she neared puberty in order not to deflect attention from her genius kid brother. In her 30s she found a publisher and began — to Felix’s chagrin — to produce chamber music. His anger abated on finding that the music was of high quality. At their last meeting, the pair sat at the piano and gleefully played each other’s latest works.

It is almost impossible on record to hear them together, which is why the present release is such a gift. Between Felix’s two sonatas for cello and piano, we hear a delicate Fantasia in G minor by Fanny, followed by a delicious, meditative Capriccio in A-flat. Beside Fanny’s secure inner voice, Felix sounds hard-sell and bombastic. Where he is writing for instant applause, she has a more distant audience in mind.

The performers, Johannes Moser and Alisdair Beatson, capture this contrast to perfection. It’s my favourite Mendelssohn listening of the year.

To read more from Norman Lebrecht, follow him on Slippedisc.com.

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LEBRECHT LISTENS | A Pleasant Surprise From Nico Muhly And Philip Glass

By Norman Lebrecht on July 16, 2021

Finnish virtuoso Pekka Kuusisto turned for his premiere to Nico Muhly, a New York composer who used to assist Philip Glass, and has augmented this album with works by his minimalist master.
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LEBRECHT LISTENS | A Mixed Start For Decca’s New Violin Poster Boy Randall Goosby

By Norman Lebrecht on July 23, 2021

Randall Goosby, 25, Decca’s new poster-boy violinist offers a cocktail platter of musical bites, with technique as clean as a scalpel and a real sense of pleasure in how he plays.
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SCRUTINY | Toronto Summer Music Festival’s In-Person Opening Concert Is A Cause For Celebration

By Joseph So on July 27, 2021

Jonathan Crow and Philip Chiu brilliantly kick off Toronto Summer Music's live music concert series this week after the long COVID drought.
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