Tianwa Yang: Mendelssohn Violin Concertos

Discover Mendelssohn's lesser-known violin music in the context of his brilliant Violin Concerto in E minor. Drive Featured Album 28 January 2013.

Mendelssohn's Violin Concertos are rarely anything other than a treat, coupling moody Romantic orchestral music with dazzling violin tunes. Tianwa Yang's bright violin solos trip delicately over the top of the orchestral texture, and she handles the speedy passages with a impressive lightness of touch. It would be easy to over-egg Mendelssohn's soupy solos in the middle Andante movements, but Yang's versions sound beautifully fragile rather than indulgent.

Anyone familiar with the Violin Concerto in E minor will be pleased to discover the second concerto on the album: Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in D minor, composed before he turned 15. It's not as well-known as the E minor concerto, but the finale's brilliant violin solos alone are worth discovering, not to mention the passionate orchestral moments in the first movement.

The Violin Sonata which follows is quite a contrast after the high-octane string moments in the concertos, but Mendelssohn's moving tunes shine through even the most hushed of interactions between piano and violin.

A diverse mix of great music, showcasing the best features of Romantic violin repertoire, featuring hummable tunes, orchestral passion, and delicate chamber music.