This CD features for the first time on CD the celebrated cello built by Antonio Stradivari, the “Staufer- ex Cristiani” instrument, of enormous power and sonority.
Born into a family where music-making lay at the heart of domestic life, Felix Mendelssohn was from an early age exposed to a broad range of composers and styles. First introduced to the cello by his brother, Paul, the young prodigy went on to write a number of charming works for the instrument together with piano accompaniment; this engaging CD details all such compositions, with the music brought to life through Luca
Fiorentini’s intuitive performances on the stunning ‘Stauffer – ex Cristiani’ Stradivari cello.
The compilation begins with the delightful Variations concertantes in G Op.17, written when Mendelssohn was just 20 years old. It is followed by the first of two sonatas that make up the backbone to this release – No.2 Op.58, a work revealing the composer’s creative maturity and containing many original passages such as the ebullient 6/8 metre of the opening movement. While the Sonata No.1 may not have achieved the
same popularity as its imposing counterpart, the composition remains one of the era’s most important within the genre. It is a fitting contrast to the collection’s final Albumblatt: a short, descriptive piece in which the cello and piano lines interweave, creating a charming, dream-like atmosphere. Mendelssohn’s affecting Lied ohne Worte Op.109, however, is without doubt the focal point of the collection.
Taking centre place, it is of particular significance given that it was first performed on exactly the same Stradivari as the one used in this release, an instrument that, under the ownership of the famous cellist Lise Cristiani, had inspired Mendelssohn. The music is wonderfully interpreted by Fiorentini and Redaelli, a partnership whose compelling musicianship is evident throughout the album.
- New recording by the Italian maestro Luca Fiorentini and pianist Stefania Redaelli, recorded in the magnificent Fondazione Teatro Ponchielli in Cremona, Italy.
- Includes comprehensive notes on each work as well as a detailed history of the Stradivari ‘Stauffer – ex Cristiani’ cello used in the recording (the first of its kind to be built by the celebrated string maker).