SKU: COBRA0003 Category:


‘inner connections’

Mendelssohn op. 13 and Sibelius op. 56 The string quartet “voces intimae” by Jean Sibelius is traditionally combined with other Scandinavian works by such composers as Edward Grieg, but this recording couples it with the A minor string quartet op. 13 by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. These two works have more in common than one might think. Both have the feel of mature works, even though Mendelssohn wrote his quartet as a teenager, and both display great craftsmanship, personality and intimacy. Also both composers studied and worked at the Berliner Singakademie, although almost a century apart.


To understand the phenomenon that was Mendelssohn we can study his voluminous correspondence with his family, friends and colleagues. It is estimated that he wrote about seven thousand letters, because we know of about the same number of letters addressed to him: no less than five thousand of which still exist. These numbers seem incredible if we consider how short his life was (1809 – 1847). The art of writing was part of the so-called “education of mind and body” that his parents Lea (1774 – 1842) and Abraham Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1776 -1835) chose for Felix, his two sisters Fanny and Rebekka, and his brother Paul, starting from their early childhood. This education included lessons in ancient and modem languages, mathematics, drawing, gymnastics and, of course, music. Private instructors visited the home of the Mendelssohns, creating an impression of an upper class, aristocratic upbringing which the average family could not afford. Although true to an extent, in practice the family had little choice: even in those days Jewish children were generally not allowed to attend public schools in Germany. Mendelsohn’s written style and the manner in which he 11 discuses certain subjects depend on whether the letter was intended for his mother or a friend, or for his father. It is remarkable how articulate and self-confident is the young Mendelssohn.


1n 1869, Maria Sibelius was forced by tragic circumstances to return to her mother’s home. The mother of three children, Linda (born 1863), Jean (Johan Julius Christian, born 1865) and Christian (born 1869), she had recently lost her husband to typhus. Under a mountain of unpaid bills, the Sibelius estate was soon declared bankrupt. The three children leamed to play instruments and later formed a piano trio in their 14 hometown of Hämeenlinna. Jean played the violin, Linda the piano and Christian the cello. Christian, like his father, was to pursue a career in medicine, but he was also a proficient cellist. There exist a number of cello works written for him by his brother Jean. Jean Sibelius’ international reputation is primarily as a composer of symphonic works, and his songs and chamber music are still considered to be of a lesser quality. Even his famous violin concerto op. 47 (1903) had failed to impress contemporary performers or the public. The premiere was given in Helsinki on 8 February, 1904, but that of the revised version was given at the Berliner Singakademie eighteen month later. At the time of his early cello compositions for his brother he had already written three string quartets in the tradition of Beethoven and Schumann, but we can hardly call these mature works. Sibelius, already in a deeply depressed state of mind, began working on the first ideas of his string quartet in D minor, op. 56, during a stay in Paris in 1908. He put the finishing touches to the score in London, where he was staying to conduct a series of concerts, in March, 1909. The quartet is written between the Third and Fourth Symphonies. At that time he confessed to a close friend: “I have suffered and learned a great deal.”


String Quartet Op.113 in a minor - Adagio Allegro Vivace (Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy)
String Quartet Op.113 in a minor - Adagio Non Lento (Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy)
String Quartet Op.113 in a minor - Intermezzo Allegretto Con Molto Allegro Di Molto (Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy)
String Quartet Op.113 in a minor - Presto (Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy)
String Quartet op.56 in d minor, Voces intimae - Andante (Jean Sibelius)
String Quartet op.56 in d minor, Voces intimae - Vivace (Jean Sibelius)
String Quartet op.56 in d minor, Voces intimae - Adagio Di Molto (Jean Sibelius)
String Quartet op.56 in d minor, Voces intimae - Allegretto (Jean Sibelius)
String Quartet op.56 in d minor, Voces intimae - Allegro (Jean Sibelius)

Additional information





, ,


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Mendelssohn-Sibelius”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *