By all accounts Mendelssohn found the writing of concertos difficult. His main problem, it seems, was finding a balance between the – almost inevitable – virtuoso, show off/exhibitionist element of the concerto and the serious/profound music that he felt he should write. Despite –or maybe because of – the difficulty in reconciling these opposites(?), the composer succeeded in revolutionising the genre (Revolution? Not a word readily associated with Mendelssohn – but you’d be surprised!)
The First [it’s not!] Piano Concerto is a fine example of the changes he wrought. Here’s Yuja Wang with Kurt Masur taking Mendelssohn’s instruction for the opening, Molto allegro con fuoco (very fast and with fire), to heart:
Our logo/featured image for this term –
based on an early Augener edition of Mendelssohn’s 42 Songs Without Words for piano –
comes to us courtesy of the artistic skills of Bill Bytheway.