Abbado is one of those conductors who will use all of his expertise and energy to deliver music exactly how the composer intended, rather than imposing his individual interpretation on the listener
The, Third ("Scottish"), Fourth ("Italian") and Fifth ("Reformation") are outstanding versions of some of the finest symphonies of the Romantic period. The Reformation, intended to celebrate the tercentenary of the central statement of faith of the Lutheran Church, is sublime - with its wonderful scherzo and the finale, which incorporates many of the thematic elements of the three earlier movements, is indeed Heavenly. Abbado's version of the third is authoritative and the scherzo and the climax to the final movement are particularly noteworthy. This version of the "Italian" has an invigorating freshness about it.
Of the seven overtures, the energy in the Hebrides and the wonderful climax to "Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage" are most memorable in terms of both composition and performance. The Overture for Wind Instruments is original, delightful and very well performed.
There is the bonus of the Scherzo from the Octet - Mendelssohn sometimes included this in performances of his first symphony, substituting for the third movement minueto.
To compliment the wonderful performances these are outstanding recordings.
I am confident that these are performances of which even Mendelssohn might have approved.
Four outstanding CDs, with an average of 72 minute's music on each , also represents outstanding value. This box set is one of my treasured possessions.