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Mendelssohn: 5 Symphonies, 7 Overtures (DG Collectors Edition) Box set
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ABBADO CLAUDIO / LONDON S. O.
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If you are reading this review, it is likely that you may well be familiar with some of Mendelssohn's more popular Overtures such as "A Midsummer Night's Dream" or "The Hebrides" (commonly referred to as "Fingal's Cave") for example, whilst not forgetting to mention "Ruy Blas" etc. At the time, the London Symphony Orchestra were at the top of their game under the masterful baton of Claudio Abbado and at no point during exhaustive listening sessions to these exceptional recordings can I find fault with the musical interpretations of these works.
Incidentally, the recording venues were especially chosen for their renowned acoustics by Deutsche Grammophon's exacting sound engineers and include those found at the respective churches of All Saints, Tooting, S.W. London and St. John's, Smith Square central London, as well as Walthamstow's Town Hall in east London. Personally, I would not hesitate for one moment to highly recommend these delightful discs to anyone considering the purchase of Mendelssohn's Symphonic output. In all honesty I regard this boxed-set of CD's as a genuine bargain, because the total cost amounted to just over £14.00 inc P&P, which works out at roughly £3.50 per disc. In conclusion I feel sure you will enjoy these recordings so purchase with absolute confidence.
They had recorded these pieces before but this recording is the recording by Abbado and the LSO that really matters.
Here we get Mendelssohn's mature symphonies plus three overtures and the orchestral arrangement (in shortened form) of the Scherzo from his String Octet.
On this release we get the whole of Symphony No. 2, Lobgesang ("Hymn of Praise"), a few seconds short of 75 minutes.
It must be said that is in this choral symphony the advantage of the wide-ranging digital sound comes out most strikingly, in clarifying the big sound of the choir. At the same time providing extra weight of sound, notably in the way that pedal notes on the organ come over in a rich and realistic way. This is particularly impressive.
As to interpretation, Abbado conveys a keen sense of joy with a wide expressive range.
Abbado uses a slow speed for the Andante that creates a warm but unmannered phrasing. Again, in the choral finale Abbado's speed is a bit more relaxed and the sense of joyful release is strong. Elizabeth Connell is tenderly affecting by being placed slightly at a distance. Then the chorus comes in with even more impact to signal the arrival of day. Earlier, Connell and the second soprano, Karita Mattila, are nicely matched in the duet with chorus, "Ich harrete des Herrn"
The recording helps to give them sweetness just as apt for the music. Hans-Peter Blochwitz's (tenor) is very good with beauty and natural feeling for words and phrasing. And the singing of the London Symphony Chorus is particularly beautiful in the chorale.
In Symphony No.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely superb recordings..real classics and made available at such a cheap price...recent tedious journeys across Lincolnshire have been enlivened by these performances.Published 6 days ago by John S. McDonald
This is a Collector edition including the five symphonies of Mendelssohn and some shorter pieces (Overtures, etc,) in a wonderful performing (Abbado and LSO). Read morePublished 3 months ago by Silviu
Excellent set of recordings. Claudio Abbado was the conductor of the LSO in the mid eighties, when I think these recordings were made, and the LSO was performing very well. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer