1822: Mendelssohn: String Piano Concerto in A minor, age 13

Mr. Peabody Says:

This is yet another piece of music written by Mendelssohn when he was in his early teens. The best info I’ve been able to find says that this was composed between 1821 and 1822. I have not been able to find a page with much info about it, but of course the most interesting thing is how young he was during the composition.

Still no info:

Below are two performances I found. It is beyond belief that no one has written an extensive article on this piece, but I can find nothing. It’s nothing like Mendelssohn’s mature works, but it’s better than most of the compositions of other composers of the time written as adults. I may add notes later about what is happening, since I found nothing.

Two recordings:

I could only find these two recordings, and I feel lucky to have found this at all. The 1st is valuable because we can see young Mendelssohn’s handwriting, and it’s amazingly neat. And according to that score, the 2nd recording has cut 1/3 of the last movement.

But it’s more than that, and this is the mystery. There are too radically different versions. Yet I can find nothing about this anywhere. I would like to think that the longer version, which is clearly better, is something that older Mendelssohn did, because if the better version is his earlier one, and he gutted it, that would be depressing.

Katsaris/János Rolla

John Ogdon/Neville Marriner

1st movement

2nd movement

3rd movement


5 thoughts on “1822: Mendelssohn: String Piano Concerto in A minor, age 13

  1. This piece just enthrals me. Not for the piece itself, (although it’s quite good), but for the story behind it. This is probably one of my favorite pieces written by a young composer. Its just so easy on the ears and I couldn’t stop listening. Sad it wasn’t published in his life time.

  2. Apparently it was his 4th (!) concerto, and it was not published in his lifetime. Very enjoyable and agree with BertArt. I enjoyed seeing the notation in Mendelssohn’s hand in the Katsaris performance – and I like the performance!

  3. What a wonderful piece. You always hear that these composers were prodigies, but you seldom think of how old they really were when they composed such pieces.

  4. Very impressive for a 13 year old. This was much more enjoyable to listen to than the music Mozart wrote at the same age.

    Ogdon’s playing was extraordinary.

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