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BI 1982

MENDELSSOHN, Felix: Lieder ohne Worte, Books 1-4 (Brautigam)

The Classical Shop
release date: December 2012

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2012


Ronald Brautigam



Osteraker Church, Sweden

Record Label




Total Time - 65:44
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MENDELSSOHN, Felix: Lieder ohne Worte, Books 1-4 (Brautigam)

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Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words), Book 1, Op. 19b

1 No. 1 in E major, Op. 19b, No. 1, MWV U86 2:35
2 No. 2 in A minor, Op. 19b, No. 2, MWV U80 2:18
3 No. 3 in A major, Op. 19b, No. 3, MWV U89, "Jagerlied" 2:07
4 No. 4 in A major, Op. 19b, No. 4, MWV U73 1:52
5 No. 5 in F sharp minor, Op. 19b, No. 5, MWV U90 2:34
6 No. 6 in G minor, Op. 19b, No. 6, MWV U78, "Venezianisches Gondellied" 1:55

Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words), Book 2, Op. 30

7 No. 7 in E flat major, Op. 30, No. 1, MWV U103 3:34
8 No. 8 in B flat minor, Op. 30, No. 2, MWV U77 1:50
9 No. 9 in E major, Op. 30, No. 3, MWV U104 1:43
10 No. 10 in B minor, Op. 30, No. 4, MWV U98 2:30
11 No. 11 in D major, Op. 30, No. 5, MWV U97 2:39
12 No. 12 in F sharp minor, Op. 30, No. 6, MWV U110, "Venezianisches Gondellied" 2:38

Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words), Book 3, Op. 38

13 No. 13 in E flat major, Op. 38, No. 1, MWV U121 2:00
14 No. 14 in C minor, Op. 38, No. 2, MWV U115 1:54
15 No. 15 in E major, Op. 38, No. 3, MWV U107 1:51
16 No. 16 in A major, Op. 38, No. 4, MWV U120 2:12
17 No. 17 in A minor, Op. 38, No. 5, MWV U137 2:08
18 No. 18 in A flat major, Op. 38, No. 6, MWV U119, "Duetto" 2:55

Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words), Book 4, Op. 53

19 No. 19 in A flat major, Op. 53, No. 1, MWV U143 2:43
20 No. 20 in E flat major, Op. 53, No. 2, MWV U109 2:25
21 No. 21 in G minor, Op. 53, No. 3, MWV U144 2:17
22 No. 22 in F major, Op. 53, No. 4, MWV U114 2:03
23 No. 23 in A minor, Op. 53, No. 5, MWV U153, "Volkslied" 2:36
24 No. 24 in A major, Op. 53, No. 6, MWV U154 2:23

Lied ohne Worte in E flat major, MWV U68


Andante in A major, MWV U76


Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words), Book 1, Op. 19b (early version)


Lied ohne Worte (Song without Words) in F sharp minor, MWV U124


Allegretto in A major, MWV U138

 Ronald Brautigam Soloist

 If claims could be made for a certain composer to have invented a genre single-handedly, Felix Mendelssohn would be a strong candidate with his ‘Songs without Words’. Mendelssohn continued an existing tradition of writing short lyrical pieces for the piano, the concept of ‘wordless songs’ was new, and indeed the great majority of the Lieder ohne Worte display some sort of song-like structure. Immediately popular with a wide audience and soon a staple ingredient in domestic music-making all over Europe, the Lieder ohne Worte were also highly regarded by fellow composers, who imitated the style of Mendelssohn’s pieces, and sometimes adopted his title for them as well. Gathered on this album are the first four books of the eight published collections of Lieder ohne Worte (two of which appeared posthumously) and an appendix consisting of five individual pieces which Mendelssohn never included in any collection but which nevertheless belong to the genre. One of today’s leading exponents on the fortepiano, Ronald Brautigam has released complete sets of the piano music by Mozart and Haydn and is currently recording a highly regarded series of the solo piano works by Beethoven.


                 Recording of the Month
"Ronald Brautigam’s Mendelssohn is so good it’s easy not to notice how good it is. That is, this playing feels so natural, so effortless, so perfectly songlike (cantabile!) that it’s tempting to think, “why wouldn’t the music sound like this? ... the sound, up to BIS’s atmospheric standards ... The piano is a Paul McNulty fortepiano built in 2010 after an 1830 Pleyel. It is a superb instrument, and although the 1830s Grafs are the warmest instruments of all to my ears, this one is very well-suited to the music at hand. If you don’t think a fortepiano can sing, think again. A superb recital."
Brian Reinhart - - April 2013

"...the combination of instrument and performer add up to an enjoyable and often thrilling musical experience. This is such wonderful and central music that one interpretation won’t suffice for most collectors. But these pieces really should be heard on an instrument of the period; it’s truly enlightening. And I’m pretty sure that few interpretations on pianoforte will match the sympathy, skill, and sheer beauty of Ronald Brautigam’s. Bis’s lifelike SACD sound greatly enhances the experience. Here’s hoping that Brautigam will soon go on to record the other four books of Mendelssohn’s classic.
Lee Passarella - - 20 February 2013

                    Performance ****      Recording ****

"... He [Ronald Brautigam] is, without any doubt, one of the finest pianists around, and his despatch of Mendelssohn’s fastest pieces is thrilling ..."

Roger Nichols - BBC Music magazine - March 2013

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