Mendelssohn’s chamber music is often overshadowed by his larger orchestral works and is rarely performed. The two works featured on this timely new release on CPO, brought out to celebrate Mendelssohn’s bicentenary, occupy an important place in the history of the string quintet.
Operating entirely in the tradition established by Mozart, Mendelssohn wrote his quintets for two violins, two violas, and one violoncello. The two String Quintets were composed at opposite ends of his career. Quintet No.1 was written in 1826 when Mendelssohn was only seventeen, whilst Quintet No.2 dates from 1845, just two years prior to his premature death. The second quintet exhibits greater formal control and a character reminiscent of orchestral music.
The quintets are performed by the internationally renowned Mannheimer String Quartet. Having been awarded the German Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Prize they are well qualified interpreters.
“The Mannheim String Quartet play this rewarding music with fire and commitment, rhythmically very lively and with impressive unanimity of attack...” International Record Review on the Mannheimer String Quartet.