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Mendelssohn: Complete Symphonies & String Symphonies [Box set]

New Philharmonia Orchestra , New Philharmonic Chorus , Amsterdam Sinfonietta , Mendelssohn , Wolfgang Sawallisch , et al. Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £19.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: Wolfgang Sawallisch, Lev Markiz
  • Composer: Mendelssohn
  • Audio CD (13 Feb 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B001JHI8KM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 220,321 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphonies Nos. 1-5 - New Philharmonia Orchestra
2. String Symphonies Nos. 1-13 - Amsterdam Sinfonietta

Product Description

New Philharmonia Orchestra - Wolfgang Sawallisch, direction - Sinfonietta Amsterdam - Lev Markiz, direction

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER
This is a beautifully packaged and presented seven disc collection of Mendelssohn's five mature symphonies on three discs, all recorded in 1967 by Sawallisch with the excellent New Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus, plus four discs containing all of the thirteen extant early string symphonies (no. 8 with winds, too). The latter are extraordinarily brilliant, precocious works, written when the composer was between eleven and fourteen years old, here played very neatly and expressively by the Amsterdam Sinfonietta directed by Lev Marke. I am familiar with neither the conductor nor the band, but they are well served by a warm, slightly bass-biased acoustic and play in a manner which acknowledges the requirements of period style - not much vibrato, no uneccessary lingering or swooping - and the music itself emerges as a charming and delightful, full of typically Mendelssohnian joie de vivre and élan, with occasional darker moments to counteract the danger of sentimentality. Inevitably they owe a great deal to Mozart but the composer's own voice clearly emerges, too.

Oddly, the sound-picture of the 1967 Sawallisch recordings is quite the reverse of the string symphonies: it is clean and treble-biased, such that occasionally the lower lines are obscured, but not damagingly so. Perhaps the most successful interpretation is the Second, "Lobgesang", which really packs a punch at the great climactic outburst "Die Nacht is vergangen". Waldemar Kmentt is a very committed tenor soloist, and despite some scooping he is demonstrably superior to the rather underpowered tenor soloist (Frieder Lang) in my other favourite version of this work, played on period instruments with Christoph Spering and the Chorus Musicus Das Neue Orchester on Opus.
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