Listening Room

06 Album LeafAlbum Leaf – Piano Works by Felix Mendelssohn
Sophia Agranovich
Centaur Records CRC 4038 (


Fantasia in F-Sharp minor, Op. 28 (Sonate ecossaise) I. Con moto agitato - Listen on Spotify

Three Etudes, Op. 104b: No. 1 in B-flat minor – Presto sempre - Listen on Spotify

Variations Sérieuses, Op. 54 - Listen on Spotify


Read the Review

Thanks to YouTube I feel as if I’ve seen and heard this magnificent pianist live whose new recording I am pleased to introduce. In fact I am simply mesmerized by Sophia Agranovich‘s tremendous talent, virtuosity, emotional involvement and thorough musicianship. Fanfare magazine calls her a “tigress of the keyboard” and I could listen to her for hours. Her credentials include concert pianist, recording artist, teacher, computer scientist and vice president of Merrill/ Lynch, no less. This is her 12th recording to date. 

Agranovich is no stranger to these pages – we reviewed her very impressive Liszt recital in November 2022 – and now she turns to Mendelssohn and surely doesn’t disappoint. Her virtuosity immediately becomes evident in the extremely difficult last movement Presto of the Fantasia in F-sharp Minor, a perpetuum mobile that ends the first piece. Her lightness of touch makes the piano sing at the Albumblatt in A Minor, a typical Mendelssohn Lied ohne Worte that the set is named after.

Mendelssohn was probably one of the most gifted composers who ever lived. As a child prodigy he composed a symphony for full orchestra at the age of 12! As the program continues the composer’s immense talent shines through beautiful pieces like the Caprices, a set of Variations Serieuses and the murderously difficult Etudes that rival Chopin. They are all executed in a lovely singing tone, with virtuosity and elegance.

My beloved, since childhood, Rondo Capriccioso, a favourite concert piece where I see elves dancing every time I hear it, ends the program and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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