Mendelssohn: Piano Sextet Piano Quartet
Catalog: CHAN 20256
Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective
Fanny Mendelssohn Henshel, born four years before her brother Felix, was an accomplished pianist and a prolific composer. When she died of a stroke aged just 42, she left around 460 pieces of music, some 250 of which are songs. The difficulties of making a career in her own era (Her supportive father would not allow her to publish or work as a ‘professional’ composer) have condemned much of her work to obscurity: a situation that is now rapidly being reversed with more concerts and recordings of works by women composers. Here the award-winning Kaleidoscope Collective champion her Piano Trio and Piano Quartet, alongside Felix Mendelssohn’s under-performed Piano Sextet. Fanny composed her Piano Quartet whilst a student, aged 17. In contrast, the Piano Trio was her last chamber work, written in her final year. Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Sextet was also an early work, written in just a few short weeks in the spring of 1824. For some reason he never published the work (perhaps because of the unusual scoring) hence it became his Op. 110 when published posthumously in 1868.