The Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra in mi minore by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, reconstructed and completed by Marcello Bufalini, will be performed on 21st April at the Teatro Verdi in Florence. The Orchestra della Toscana will be conducted by David Afkham, Roberto Prosseda as soloist.
Amongst the large amount of music that Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, judged unworthy for publication and which, as a consequence, has remained hidden amongst the shelves of European and American libraries is the Piano Concerto in E minor. This composition, never completed, has come down to us by way of a manuscript in the Bodleian Library in Oxford: in all probability Mendelssohn worked on the piece in the years between 1842 and 1844, the same period in which he completed the first version of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor. Although the Piano Concerto in E minor was conceived on an ample scale, Mendelssohn did not go beyond writing the solo part and a piano reduction of the orchestral parts of the first two movements (providing a complete orchestration only for a few bars) and a sketch of two themes for the final movement. Roberto Prosseda, who has dedicated much of his life to the study, publication and recording of Mendelssohn’s music, engaged Marcello Bufalini to reconstruct and complete the concerto. After a careful study of other works by Mendelssohn, Bufalini realised the orchestral score, bringing to completion both the piano part - to the extent that its notation was sketchy - and the orchestral parts of the first two movements (the orchestration in the autograph did not extend beyond a first summary “tutti” and occasional marks like “violins”, “pizzicato” or “clarinets: theme”) as well as the final movement, in which he re-elaborated the two themes traced by Mendelssohn. The world premiere of the Piano Concerto in E minor took place in 2007 at the Philarmonie in Berlin with Prosseda as soloist together with the Berliner Symphoniker under the direction of Lior Shambadal. The piece was recorded again by Prosseda together with Riccardo Chailly at the head of the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester in 2009 (Mendelssohn Discoveries Decca 478 1525).