Stephen Hough (piano), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Foster (conductor)
This disc brings together, for the first time to our knowledge, all of Mendelssohn's published works for piano and orchestra. Mendelssohn was regarded as one of the foremost pianists of his day, Clara Schumann describing him as 'the dearest pianist of all'. While his works for the instrument are by no means as numerous as those of, say, Liszt or Chopin, they are models of the nineteenth-century genre and filled with melodious charm.
The First Concerto is actually the earliest work on this disc, despite its opus number, and is the work that Liszt sight-read from a scribbled score to an astonished Mendelssohn when the two composers met in Paris. The Second Concerto saw its premiere— appropriately enough given the orchestra performing on this disc—in Birmingham during the festival of 1837. The remaining three works find Mendelssohn in light-hearted mood, showing off his knack for melody and unaffected charm to the full.