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Historical Piano Concerts Series
at the
Ashburnham Community Church

Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 4: 00 p.m.

Yi-heng Yang, piano    Abigail Karr, violin Yi-heng Yang, piano
Abigail Karrviolin
(Click on name for Bio)

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809–1847)
His Life in his Violin Sonatas

Childhood, Adolescence, and Adulthood

Sonata No. 1 in F for violin & piano, MWV Q7    (1820, discovered 1977)


Sonata No. 2 in f for violin & piano, MWV Q13    (1825)

Adagio - Allegro moderato
Poco adagio
Allegro agitato


fragment of a Sonata in d for violin & piano, MWV Q18    (c. 1820s)
Adagio - Allegro molto
Sonata No. 3 in F for violin & piano, MWV Q26   (1838)

Allegro vivace
Assai vivace

Violin by Vincenzo Postiglione, Napoli (1913),
bridge & setup by Karl Dennis, Warren, RI (2012);
Bow by Christophe Landon, NYC (1990s) 
Piano by Tröndlin, Leipzig, c.1830

Mendelssohn's three published sonatas for violin and piano tell the story of his creative life in a delightful journey from gifted childhood to exceptional adulthood. The first, written at the tender age of 11, expresses a charming precocity that foretells the composer's ultimate mastery. The second, composed at 14, betrays uncannily mature angst. The final one, written in 1838, incorporates all the joy of the first, now on a grander scale, and, in a breathtaking slow movement, expands on the passion and wisdom of the second. Mendelssohn left the third sonata in disarray, with multiple drafts, scribbled notes in margins, crossed-out or incomplete measures, and other inconsistencies. The version we present today is our own reconciliation of the sources, and unique to our performance.
~ Abigail Karr

The vigorous, utterly Mendelssohnian fragment is one of a number of surviving unfinished works. You can view numerous originals online at the Berlin State Library, a major repository of Mendelssohn scores. The new 
Mendelssohn-Werkverzeichnis (publ. 2009 by Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden) is a compendious catalogue of his music. As with the Deutsch numbers for Schubert, MVW listings offer a much clearer point of reference than opus numbers, especially for early works.
Christopher Greenleaf

All pianos played in the concerts are from The Frederick Collection

Ashburnham Community Church: 84 Main Street (Rte. 12) at Chapel Street, Ashburnham, MA (GPS: 42.6359, -71.9083)

Admission: $10.00 /adult (children and students, free)

The building is wheelchair accessible.

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