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Mendelssohn: Symphonies Nos.3 "Scottish" & 4 "Italian"
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Mendelssohn: Symphonies Nos.3 "Scottish" & 4 "Italian"

20 Feb 2014 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 1985 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:10:56
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001N2KTQE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,500 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Superb 5 Sep 2004
By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Abbado's Mendelssohn is prim and underplayed 19 Oct 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Unlike Mr. Grabowski, I love Mendelssohn, and in general I am also a great fan of Abbado in his years with the LSO, which found him at his most energetic and outgoing. But Abbado has a prim, clasical notion of Mendelssohn as a kind of second Haydn. We are far from the robust expression that makes Bernstein's versions of the Itlian and Scotch Sym. so thrilling; to that famous CD on Sony one could add Karajan's magisterial readings of both symphonies. Even Muti, not one of my favorites by a long shot, manages to impart more vierve and vibrancy than we get here. In all, a respectable but overly respectful recording.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Clean and clear performances more Classical than Romantic in style 30 Nov 2013
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
These two recordings, well made in 1984, are the second such pairing made by Abbado and the LSO. The earlier set was very well thought of and was made by Decca in excellent analogue sound. That has now been issued in a remastered form which I have not had the chance to compare with this disc. However that alternative disc is currently on order and I am anticipating doing a comparative review fairly soon. (see footnote below)

Abbado takes a very clear-cut view of both these symphonies making it very obvious that they are more closely related to the Classical period rather than the following Romantic period. This is correct in terms of date and also in terms of how the two pieces are written. Mendelssohn did not favour the more lush or extravagant orchestral textures of a Brahms let alone a Richard Strauss or Wagner.

He is far more like early Schubert and not as Romantic even as late Schubert. There is nothing in these two symphonies sharing the Romantic concepts of Schubert's eighth symphony for example. The program element of either symphony, or even the various program-inspired overtures are closer in style to Beethoven's sixth (Pastoral) symphony than Schumann's Spring or Rhenish symphonies to give further examples.

Abbado therefore is completely correct in his classical style of interpretation as regards these two works. The main competition in terms of comparison is with his own earlier, and now re-mastered versions, on Decca as previously mentioned. Bearing in mind the excellences of this newer recording and also the playing of the LSO, it seems unlikely that there will be much interpretive or functional difference between the two.

This disc has been a much enjoyed part of my collection for over 20 years now and I have not heard alternative discs to seriously challenge is as a coupling. There are fine single symphony alternatives such as the third conducted by Maag. Karajan's similarly coupled disc is a much heavier concept, more Romantic in feel and therefore somewhat out of period. it is preferred by those who favour such an approach and it is easy to see why.

Until I have had a chance to compare the two available Abbado versions, I would suggest that this current disc is a clear front runner and fully worthy of serious consideration. It is also worth mentioning that there is also a very attractively priced boxed set of all the symphonies plus several other works by Abbado done at the same time as this disc. That is a much admired set and may be even more attractive than this single disc for many collectors.



I have now received the remastered Decca disc from 1967 and prefer it on both performance and recording grounds. My wife commented that it made the later DGG disc reviewed above sound 'muddy' as sound by comparison. This has been a surprise as the DGG disc above is still worthy of the above review ad is much more recent
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