Fanny Mendelssohn: Piano Sonatas Gaia Sokoli

Cover Fanny Mendelssohn: Piano Sonatas

Album info

Album-Release:
2021

HRA-Release:
24.09.2021

Label: Piano Classics

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Instrumental

Artist: Gaia Sokoli

Composer: Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (1805-1847)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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FLAC 96 $ 12.00
  • Fanny Mendelssohn (1805 - 1847): Sonata in G Minor, H-U 395:
  • 1Mendelssohn: Sonata in G Minor, H-U 395: I. Allegro Molto Agitato03:36
  • 2Mendelssohn: Sonata in G Minor, H-U 395: II. Scherzo02:56
  • 3Mendelssohn: Sonata in G Minor, H-U 395: III. Adagio04:02
  • 4Mendelssohn: Sonata in G Minor, H-U 395: IV. Finale. Presto06:22
  • Ostersonate:
  • 5Mendelssohn: Ostersonate: I. Allegro Assai Moderato05:04
  • 6Mendelssohn: Ostersonate: II. Largo E Molto Espressivo04:30
  • 7Mendelssohn: Ostersonate: III. Scherzo. Allegretto04:20
  • 8Mendelssohn: Ostersonate: IV. Allegro Con Strepito07:46
  • Sonatensatz in E H-U 44:
  • 9Mendelssohn: Sonatensatz in E H-U 44 - Allegro Molto Moderato05:53
  • Sonata in C Minor, H-U 128:
  • 10Mendelssohn: Sonata in C Minor, H-U 128: I. Allegro Moderato E Con Espressione04:56
  • 11Mendelssohn: Sonata in C Minor, H-U 128: II. Andante Con Moto03:28
  • 12Mendelssohn: Sonata in C Minor, H-U 128: III. Finale. Presto03:14
  • Total Runtime56:07

Info for Fanny Mendelssohn: Piano Sonatas



The first album to bring together all of Fanny Mendelssohn’s four piano sonatas, written over the course of almost 20 years, and including the ‘Easter Sonata’ rediscovered in 2010.

Born in 1998 to Albanian parents, the Italian pianist Gaia Sokoli has won rave reviews as well as a string of competition awards in her home country. She took first prize in the Bradshaw and Buono Competition held annually in New York, and made a Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 13. Gaia Sokoli was giving concerts as a young child: ‘Making music came naturally to me and I felt I had to do it.’

Gaia Sokoli’s repertoire ranges from Bach to Ligeti, but she has a particularly strong feeling for the late-Classical and early-Romantic piano composers from Beethoven to Chopin and Schumann. She studies with Roberto Prosseda, who has contributed the booklet essay to her debut recording, discussing Fanny Mendelssohn’s sonata writing in the context of a culture which saw her compositional activity as little more than the talented exercise of a hobby when set alongside her brother Felix’s pre-eminent genius.

Gaia Sokoli is well placed to bring out all the ardour and pianistic sophistication of Fanny Hensel’s piano writing, which in its smaller and lighter forms – the songs without words and nocturnes so beloved of salon audiences – has received plenty of attention on record before now. But Hensel was no less accomplished at disciplining her melodic imagination on the grander scale of the sonata. Two years a standalone sonata movement composed at the age of 17, she wrote a three-movement work in the Romantically resonant key of C minor, with an insistent rhythmic tag in the finale which her brother ‘borrowed’ for a Vivace movement of his own two years later.

From six years later, the year before her marriage to Wilhelm Hensel which drastically curtailed her creative output, comes the ‘Easter Sonata’ so excitingly rediscovered in modern times. The name derives from the Easter Monday when she completed the sonata’s first movement, but the four movements generate a sense of momentous drama through to a tormented A minor finale in which an Easter chorale finally bestows serenity.

After this powerfully original work, the G minor Sonata of 1843 raises the dramatic stakes still further with a headstrong opening movement worthy of any piano work by more celebrated male contemporaries. Unstable harmonies as well as Fanny’s trademark melodic charm propel the sonata forwards towards a surprisingly carefree finale.

The figure of Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-1847) is still awaiting an adequate revaluation. The elder sister of Felix Mendelssohn, four years younger than her, Fanny was born in Hamburg in 1805 into a very wealthy family. Their father Abraham was a banker and took particular care in the education of his children, who had the privilege of a very high profile cultural (not just musical) education in Berlin, where the family moved in 1812. Fanny and Felix studied composition with Karl Zelter, who gave them an excellent foundation in contrapuntal technique, and piano with Ludwig Berger, a pupil of Hummel. Fanny was also a piano virtuoso and often performed in Sunday domestic concerts in their Berlin home, also in duo with her brother Felix. Only in 1845 did Fanny decide to publish her first composition under her own name, since she had always been discouraged (not to say opposed) in her public activity as a composer, by her brother and the rest of her family. So her father wrote to her in a letter dated July 16, 1820: “Music will perhaps become his [Felix's] profession, while for you it can and must be only an ornament”.

This new recording presents the three Piano Sonatas. The early compositions are compatible with the generic definition of "Mendelssohnian", as they present stylistic elements common to Felix's language, but Fanny's language, with the progressive liberation from her family of origin, gradually conquers an originality that takes on the most convincing tones precisely in the Sonata in G minor.

Played with conviction, feeling and brilliance by the young Italian pianist Gaia Sokoli. The excellent booklet notes are written by her teacher, Roberto Prosseda, one of the foremost pianists of Italy and Mendelssohn specialist.

An important recording and tribute to a long underrated, female composer!

Gaia Sokoli, piano



Gaia Sokoli
was born in Erba in 1998 and began studying the piano with Claudia Boz, graduating under her guidance with full marks at the age of 16. She continued her studies with Leonid Margarius at the “Incontri col Maestro” Piano Academy in Imola and is currently specializing with Roberto Prosseda and Alessandra Ammara at the Accademia MusicaFelix. Ms Sokoli has won over 50 first prizes in national and international competitions, including the Concours International “Nice - Cote d’Azur”, the TIM - Torneo Internazionale di Musica, the Concours “Simone Delbert-Février” of Nice for piano and orchestra, and the Pianolink Master Contest. She also won second prize at the “M. Bramanti” Competition and at the “Il Pozzolino” International Competition in Seregno.

Her concert performances include appearances with the Cannes Symphony Orchestra, the “M. Jora” Philharmonic Orchestra in Bacau, the Pozzoli Philharmonic, and the Pianolink Philharmonic Orchestra. She regularly gives piano recitals in Italy and has recently performed for Amici della Musica di Pistoia, the OperaBarga Festival, Pietrasanta in Concerto, Cremona Musica, and the Mozart Italia Association of Rovereto. Her concert activity has also led her to perform in France (Concerts de Jeunes Talents ”in Nice), Switzerland (“New Year Music Festival ”in Gstaad), Romania (Sala Ateneu in Bacau), Albania (“Pianodrom Festival” in Tirana), and Russia (International House of Music in Moscow). After winning first prize at the “Bradshaw and Buono” International Piano Competition, she made her debut at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Her first album, featuring the three piano sonatas by Fanny Mendelssohn, is being released in 2021 by the Dutch label Piano Classics. Ms Sokoli is continuing her interpretative research on Fanny Mendelssohn’s piano works and is preparing a second album, which will include “Das Jahr” and various other pieces, never previously recorded.

Booklet for Fanny Mendelssohn: Piano Sonatas

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