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. The program presents the complete works for cello and piano of Felix Mendelssohn, ranging from youthful enthusiasm of the Variations Op. 17, to the maturity and profundity of the second Cello Sonata Op. 58. The booklet contains liner notes on the music, as well as all information on the instrument, its history and qualities, plus many photos. New recording by the Italian maestro Luca Fiorentini and pianist Stefania Redaelli. 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 Fiorentinis 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 composers 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 eras most important within the genre. It is a fitting contrast to the collections final Albumblatt: a short, descriptive piece in which the cello and piano lines interweave, creating a charming, dream-like atmosphere. Mendelssohns 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.
Luca Fiorentini, violoncelle - Stefania Redaelli, piano