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Donald Macleod focuses on the effects of 'Mendelssohn mania' in the UK, as the composer created a huge impact in the 1830s. He also explores RPS commissions by JB Cramer and Bartok.

In the 1830s, "Mendelssohn mania" was thrilling these shores as the music of Felix Mendelssohn made a huge impact on London audiences. Donald Macleod is joined by cultural historian, Leanne Langley to explore two key works commissioned by the Philharmonic Society - Mendelssohn's Symphony no.4, the "Italian", and the much less well-known concert aria "Infelice". He also presents a complete performance of a Piano Quintet by one of the Society's most ardent supporters, the now long-forgotten Johann Baptist Cramer. We end with an RPS commission from the mid-20th century: Bartok's Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra, an adaptation of the composer's earlier Sonata for the same combination.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Felix Mendelssohn

    Symphony No. 4 in A, 'Italian' - 1st movement

    Orchestra: The London Classical Players. Conductor: Roger Norrington.

    • EMI 561469 2.
    • 5.
  • Felix Mendelssohn


    Singer: Dame Janet Baker. Orchestra: City of London Sinfonia. Conductor: Richard Hickox.

    • Virgin Classics 561 469 2.
    • 1.
  • Johann Baptist Cramer

    Piano Quintet in B flat

    Ensemble: Nepomuk Fortepiano Quintet.

    • Brilliant 93771.
    • 1 to 3.
  • Béla Bartók

    Concerto for two pianos, percussion and orchestra

    Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard. Performer: Tamara Stefanovich. Performer: Neil Percy. Performer: Nigel Thomas. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Pierre Boulez.

    • Deutsche Grammophon 477744 0.
    • 3.


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