I'm not always the biggest Mendelssohn fan in the world--while his music is beautiful and exquisitely crafted, it often lacks depth to me--but there's something about the Scottish Symphony that hits the spot. Yet it doesn't sound very Scottish, at least to me. In fact, it sounds *Italian!* So imagine how gratified I was to learn that none other than Schumann heard the Scottish thinking it was the Italian, and complimented Mendelssohn for the superb evocation of Italy! I couldn't agree more, even if I'm 100 percent wrong. At any rate, whether it's Italy, Scotland or an abstract composition in A minor, it's a glorious piece, and Abbado and company suffuse it with all the necessary color and sunlight. Maybe a *little* too much sunlight and not enough fog or "murkiness" or whatever. I've often felt Abbado does best in works that are generally of a cheery nature, and this recording bears that out. The LSO are perfect partners in crime for this, as well as the (real) Italian Symphony, which I've never liked as much as the Scottish. (I don't hear the same level of melodic invention and variety.) My only slight reservation is in the finale of the Scottish, where I think the tempo drags a little. My favorite Scottish, actually, is Franz Konwitschny on a CD that ought to be better known, featuring Igor Oistrakh performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (a piece I can sit through about once every five years). This Berlin Classics CD is also available on Amazon, at least as a used item. Grab it, as well as this disc.