A concerted effort

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 […]

Making overtures (and waves)

Among its eight definitions of the word ‘overture’, the OED describes the musical kind as: An orchestral piece of varying form and dimensions, forming the opening or introduction to an opera, oratorio, or other extended composition, and often containing themes from the body of the work or otherwise indicating the character of it. Also: a […]

Prodigious

Not the work of your average 16 year old, but Mendelssohn’s Octet seems to capture brilliantly the feral excitement, boundless energy and sheer joie de vivre of youth. And so that’s where we’ll begin, with a work by a boy who in his mid adolescence  produced this, one of the masterpieces of a century peopled […]