Mendelssohn: Symphony No 2 (Lobgesang)
Mendelssohn Symphony No 2 (Lobggesang)
Felix Mendelssohn, Judith van Wanroij, Machteld Baumans, Patrick Henckens, Consensus Vocalis, Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Jan Willem de Vriend
Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 2 is in fact a symphony-cantata, three orchestral movements followed by a nine-movement cantata, commissioned for the 400th anniversary of the printing press, and using Biblical texts intended to celebrate the dissemination of God’s word from the Gutenberg Bible on. The work’s initial success didn’t prevent unfavourable comparisons with that obvious model, Beethoven’s
Symphony, and the work has long fallen out of favour in the concert hall. Jan Willem de Vriend tackles its tub-thumping moments with hearty gusto, and the choral contributions of Consensus Vocalis are particularly fine. The two solo sopranos, Judith van Wanroij and Machteld Baumans, shine more consistently than tenor Patrick Henckens.