Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words / Rena Kyriakou

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It's good to have Rena Kyriakou's lovingly cultivated Mendelssohn Songs Without Words available again through's on-demand reprint program, despite Vox's dry 1962 sonics and occasional fuzzy residue on high notes that I remember from my old LP pressings--is that a master tape defect? Kyriakou favors leisurely tempos and spins legato lines with subtle and attractive shadings that make even old standbys like the Spring Song and the Hunting Song emerge freshly minted to jaded ears. In numbers such as Hope, the Fleecy Cloud, Spinning Song, and the Evening Star, hear the striking timbral differentiation between the main melodies and the perfectly controlled, softly whirling accompaniments, or notice the sustained breadth she brings to the Duetto and the Elegy.

A thoughtfully integrated yet scintillating-when-appropriate (the final variations) rendition of the Variations sérieuses proves more than mere filler, although more dynamically characterized and colorful interpretations can be had, past (Horowitz, Cortot) and present (Perahia, Thibaudet). I hope the balance of Kyriakou's Vox Mendelssohn cycle will appear in due course.

--Jed Distler,

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: CDX-5077

  • UPC: 047163507724

  • Label: Vox

  • Composer: Felix Mendelssohn

  • Performer: Rena Kyriakou