Fanny Mendelssohn: Piano Sonata in G minor; Prelude in E minor; Six Character Pieces; Six mélodies

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COMPOSERS: Fanny Mendelssohn
LABELS: BIS
WORKS: Piano Sonata in G minor; Prelude in E minor; Six Character Pieces; Six mélodies
PERFORMER: Béatrice Rauchs (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CD-885
I’ll stick my neck out straightaway and say that, on the whole, I prefer Fanny’s piano music to her more famous brother’s. The Mélodies have much the same place in her output that the Songs without Words have in Felix’s, but they have greater depth and the accompaniments are a more important part of the texture. The Sonata is a particularly fine work, its opening Allegro intense and passionate with agitated rhythms projected over driving left-hand accompaniments, its scherzo light and airy. The Prelude in E minor reflects Fanny’s lifelong study of the music of JS Bach.

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Béatrice Rauchs is ideal in this repertoire and produces a disc which no genuine lover of Romantic piano music should be without. Wadham Sutton