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2009 marks the 200th Anniversary of Felix Mendelssohn-Barthody´s birth.

To celebrate this important occasion we have planned a recording of a unique selection of Mendelssohn´s Songs and Songs Without Words using an authentic Erard Grand Piano built in 1847.


The Erard piano was Mendelssohn´s preferred instrument. When he first played on an Erard these are the words Mendelssohn used to describe it:


I want an instrument with a perfectly even and precise touch, responding freely and fully to my wants and wishes....


I should think no sacrifice too great to preserve an instrument with such a beautiful tone....


and it is only now, since I enjoy the happiness of playing an instrument so full and rich in tone, that I realise how hard I should have found it to accustom myself to any other.


(excerpted from a letter to Ignaz Moscheles, (1797-1870), friend and colleague of Mendelssohn)



This recording will be unique in that it will pair Mendelssohn´s songs for voice and piano with his Songs Without Words using an instrument he expressly preferred, the likes of which he owned and played. At this time there are no existing recordings of Mendelssohn´s songs making the use of an orignal instrument.


The performers will be the highly acclaimed tenor Thomas Michael Allen and the renowned pianist Reinild Mees. Their long-term collaboration as a vocal piano duo will ensure an exceptional interpretation of this seldom performed and rarely recorded repertoire.


We have had the good fortune to win the interest of prominent Mendelssohn scholar R. Larry Todd - author of the most recent and comprehensive biography Mendelssohn: A Life in Music - who will serve as scholarly advisor and consultant to the project and write the liner notes in the CD booklet.


The release of the CD Mendelssohn Songs With and Without Words is planned for late 2008 in anticipation of the bicentennial year and a series of concerts of the same repertoire in Germany and the Netherlands.