Mendelssohn: Complete Works for Piano Solo / Markovina
“A composer’s oeuvre can only be fully understood in the context of his lifetime achievement. Concerts and events provide mere snapshots. I have always been more interested in the process than the highlights of an artist’s creative life...
"Mendelssohn was a cosmos that opened before me. There were worlds waiting to be discovered. My recording of the complete works is based on the system of compilation applied by Dr. Ralf Wehner...in chronological order of their composition, opening up completely new perspectives on the way Mendelssohn worked. It is clear, for example, that Mendelssohn first wrote his fugues, then composed the preludes to them quite a bit later, in order to publish them as pairs of Preludes and Fugues. That is also the only deviation from my chronological order: I have placed each Prelude before its Fugue, which is the way Mendelssohn intended it." -Ana-Marija Markovina
SET CONTENT HIGHLIGHTS:
• Piano Sonata in A Minor, MWV U8 • Piano Sonata in E Minor, MWV U19 • Piano Sonata in F Minor, MWV U23 • Piano Sonata in G Minor, Op. 105, MWV U30 • Piano Sonata in E Major, Op. 6, MWV U54 • Piano Sonata in B-Flat Major, Op. 106, MWV U64 • Charakterstücke (7), Op. 7 • Preludes and Fugues (6), Op. 35 • Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words) • Variations sérieuses in D Minor, Op. 54, MWV U156 • Variations in E-Flat Major, Op. 82, MWV U158 • Variations in B-Flat Major, Op. 83, MWV U159
Markovina can be justly proud of this complete set, having had to work together with both her production and recording teams with the coronavirus restrictions and precautions. At her recording sessions, she elected to use either of the two Bösendorfer grand pianos at her disposal in the studio, an Imperial and a Konzertflügel. In the Haus der Klaviere in Dülmen, project recording engineer Kaling Hanke has achieved consistently satisfying sonics and both of Markovina’s Bösendorfer pianos emit an impressive sound.
First class booklet notes for this box set are provided by Hänssler. There is an informative essay written by Markovina which describes her process of research and her acknowledgments. Exceptionally valuable in the booklet are the remarks and observations provided on each work mainly from Markovina and a few she has adapted from Mendelsohn specialist and biographer Professor R. Larry Todd.
From the first work to the last I find this set of Mendelsohn’s complete solo piano works entirely compelling including the juvenilia and interesting group of short fragments. In what feels like a labour of love, Ana-Marija Markovina is in praiseworthy form throughout this valuable set, meeting the challenges with aplomb.
Needless to say there are rarities galore, but the simplest way to sample Markovina’s artistry is to hear her play Mendelssohn’s own transcription of the Nocturne from his A Midsummer Night’s Dream incidental music, which is quite ravishing. The pieces are presented chronologically (except the Preludes and Fugues, where Mendelssohn is known to have written the fugues first). And what do we have? Numerous rarities, including discarded Variations sérieuses, fragments and of course much-loved miniatures such as the Songs without Words. A very exciting enterprise to investigate.
Release Date: January 07, 2022
Catalog Number: HC18043
Label: Hänssler & Profil
Number of Discs: 12
Composer: Felix Mendelssohn
Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina