Mendelssohn / Frezzotti - Piano Music | RECORD STORE DAY

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Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel was born in Hamburg in November 1805, the eldest of four siblings (the second was Felix, followed by Rebecca and Paul). The Mendelssohn family, of Jewish lineage, and belonging in the upper bourgeois class, gave a brilliant cultural education to their four children. Fanny was not only an exceptional pianist, but also an exceptional composer; her style is very close to that of Felix, the best known of her siblings. Her output is rich and substantial and includes more than four hundred pieces, comprising Lieder, organ works, chamber music, cantatas, an oratorio and an orchestral overture. In spite of her prolific creative output, some of her works remain still unpublished. This album focuses on a part of her piano works written between 1838 and 1841, which are particularly interesting. The piano cycle Das Jahr (The Year) (1841) is the main work of this collection, written during her Italian journey. It is made up of twelve pieces, each bearing the name of a month, plus an epilogue, each expressing the particular feelings and atmosphere of the month in question. There are many thematic cross references between the pieces, as well as numerous references to Bach, connected to the music typical for the Lutheran worship. Also included are the two Nocturnes and the Introduction and Capriccio in B minor, in which the influence of her brother Felix is particularly evident. Italian pianist Martina Frezzotti studied with Lazar Berman at the Piano Academy of Imola and later with Elisso Virsaladze at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where she obtained her Doctorate in Music with full marks in 2012, the first Italian in history of this prestigious university.