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Mendelssohn: Op. 28, Fantasy in F# Minor (Sonate ecossaise)

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by John Robson, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Mendelssohn: Fantasy in F# Minor (Sonate ecossaise)
    1st Mvt: Con moto agitato, Andante
    2nd Mvt: Allegro con moto
    3rd Mvt. Presto

    The first movement of this could stand alone as a Fantasy. I think it is one of Mendelssohn's most beautiful and romantic piano pieces. I love the ending. The damper pedal is held for over nine measures as the various sonorities swirl together, and the main theme is softly repeated one last time before it quietly evaporates into eternity. (Sorry for being so corny.)

    The second movement is reminiscent of Beethoven. In the final section, the main theme is repeated in the left hand while the right hand has some rapid accompaniment. It seems almost impossible to play the right hand softly enough so that the main theme is more dominant. Perhaps Mendelssohn actually wished for both hands to be of equal importance.

    The last movement was pure hell for me to try to play. I've only heard this piece performed by accomplished concert artists, and they really can play it Presto, as marked. The best I can do is a mediocre allegro with quite a few smudges. I was tempted to just not try it, but I accepted the challenge with the imperfect result. I hope you can forgive the erros in this most difficult movement.

    Mendelssohn - Fantasy in F-sharp minor "Sonate Ecossaise" Op. 28, 1st mov't.
    Mendelssohn - Fantasy in F-sharp minor "Sonate Ecossaise" Op. 28, 2nd mov't.
    Mendelssohn - Fantasy in F-sharp minor "Sonate Ecossaise" Op. 28, 3rd mov't.
     
  2. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good enough for me! 8)
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi John,

    I like the end of the first movement too. Very nice! (And it's okay to be corny. :wink:)
    I think it cuts off too soon at the end, though. It could use another 2 or 3 seconds.

    Perhaps you are just wishing that! :lol: haha - sorry, couldn't resist. Sounded nice to me. And so does the third movement. I'm listening to it now. Sounds hard!

    Wow - that's a lot of music. Nice job, overall.

    I am not sure how to put this up. Do you think it is ok if I call it a Sonata since the word 'Sonate' is in the subtitle? Other than that there is the Mendelssohn miscellaneous category, but this seems to big a piece for that. What do you think?

    p.s. thanks for listening to my Rach.
     
  4. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Mendelssohn

    Thanks for listening. I almost gave up on this work several times, but I liked it too much to quit.
    It is sometimes referred to as Mendelssohn's Scottish Sonata. It is like a sonata, but he also called it a Fantasy. However, I don't think his other Fantasies have several movements. I'm sure someone in PS knows a lot of information about this piece. I'm waiting to hear more from "our" sages. I just know that I like it.
     
  5. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    This piece is usually called Fantasy in F-sharp minor op.28 . 'Sonate Ecossaise' was the title of a preliminary version. I think you can put it in brackets.
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ok, this is up on the site. I just went ahead and made a new page for this under Mendelssohn. John, would you like to provide any information for the page?

    Speaking of Mendelssohn, tonight I'm seeing a production of Elijah. It's being directed by a friend of my dad's. His name is Sherrill Milnes and he is a retired opera star. He now lives and works down there by you sort of, in Tampa.
     
  7. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Fantasy

    I believe I've heard the name Sherrill Milnes before, but I'm not sure. Was he with the Met at one time. I don't know anything about Tampa. It's almost 300 miles from here and I've only driven by it on the Interstate a couple of times.

    Sorry, but I couldn't find more info on Op.28. I know they sometimes refer to it as the Scottish Sonata, but I have no idea why. I'd like to know particularly since my father's family was originally from Scotland. I looked around the internet, but couldn't find anything.
     
  8. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    This sounds very good to me. I listened without score and simply enjoyed it. The little slips are minor, because you play so musically. I don´t know this sonata too well, if I´m honest. So, it´s good to hear it after some years again from you! Bravo!
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good to see you back on form again John ! Hearing this I'd say your surgery did not do you any harm. I listened to the first and (part of the) last movements. Could not manage more, sorry, Mendelssohn in note-spinning mode just irritates me. Fine playing but indeed the finale is a bit ragged.
     
  11. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the info, Monica. I knew that Mendlessohn had spent time in Britain, but I didn't know about the Scottish trip.

    Thanks for the comment, Musicusblau. That very kind of you. I needed something positive today.
     
  12. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi John,

    Bravo! Playing this fantasy is a major project, and you've given us a studied and very effective performance. I greatly enjoyed your playing throughout. It's a real feather in your cap, John.

    David
     

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