Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Album Leaf: Piano Works by Felix Mendelssohn By Sophia Agranovich


Album Leaf: Piano Works by Felix Mendelssohn


Sophia Agranovich

Written by

Steve Sheppard


When it comes to classical piano there can be no doubt that Ukrainian born Sophia Agranovich is a power to be reckoned with, after the releases that featured the works of such luminaries as Chopin, Beethoven and Liszt, she sets her musical sights in the direction of another giant of the classical world and of the romantic era in Felix Mendelssohn, with her latest release Album Leaf: Piano Works by Felix Mendelssohn.

The opening movement of three starts with Fantasia in F-sharp minor, Op. 28 a gentle but flourishing opening is built superbly upon by the artist, a proud and deft segment follows partnered by an almost mysterious andante, this builds once more into a dramatic and climatic presentation, which then floats into a more moderate and mellow conclusion. Fantasia op. 28, II soon follows; we can be swept off our feet with this dance like second movement, whilst the last piece of the progression entitled Fantasia op. 28, III is a fast paced and sizzling performance, with a coda that is simply thrilling and exciting within all of its aspects.

The title track Album Leaf is now upon us and this incredibly memorable composition brings back many memories from many years passed. This piece was originally published back in 1872, but thought to have been penned much earlier; here Agranovich conjures up a memory palace of a performance with senses and flavours of the ethereal, in a passionate manifestation that exudes copious amounts of both warmth and love.  

Caprice in A minor is our next arrangement; Mendelssohn once roamed the lands of my birth in England with his friend Karl Klingemann, this is very much a dedication to him, and a somewhat fascinating composition. It seems packed with mixed emotions, moods and feelings, as the moods are manifested in music and build upon a narrative of romance, passion and conflict, in one of the most creative presentations on the album by Agranovich.

On the longest of offerings from the release in the composition Variations serieuses; we find an arrangement that contains a set of 17 variations on a theme in D minor, each of these most serious works are truly something the listener must take their time with and follow the essences of a varied reality of moods that are constructed within each variation, including tragedy, passion, pure honesty and consolation.

Three Etudes, Op. 104b is next on our listing of illustrious works and included with it are No. 1 in B-flat minor - Presto sempre, No. 2 in F Major – Allegro con moto, No. 3 in A minor – Allegro vivace. For me this is the very beauty of Mendelssohn, a perfect balance between genius and technical mastery, B Flat Minor creates some of the most melodic and mood filled pieces you are ever likely to hear from the composer, whilst F Major as you would expect manifests a sense of happiness, leaving the concluding movement A Minor to playfully dance with Staccato energies.

Our penultimate offering is Etude in F minor, this charming, and expressive creation flows like spring water from a mountain rivulet, and its articulate and enthralling compositional structure is a simple yet a wonderful delight, and one may add, perfectly played by the pianist.

The conclusion to this master work comes in the guise of the final piece entitled Rondo Capriccioso, and with all honesty, never has there been a more beautiful and romantic creation with which to end an album with. Agranovich feels each and every note played, with a sublime attractive and intelligent performance on the piano.  

Album Leaf: Piano Works by Felix Mendelssohn by Sophia Agranovich is classically stunning, it’s a vast body of work that has been presented and played with such precision and craft by the artist. Sophia is without doubt one of the most accomplished classical pianists of her day, and here on this brand new collection of works by Mendelssohn, she shines like the midday sun, this album is guaranteed to be a sure fire hit with listeners and classical music aficionados alike the globe over.

No comments:

Post a Comment