Mendelssohn in Birmingham Vol 1

Fri, Feb 28, 2014, 00:00


Mendelssohn in Birmingham, Vol 1

Edward Gardner, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestrsa, Felix Mendelssohn



Mendelssohn had a rich association with Birmingham, where his most successful oratorio, Elijah, was premièred in 1846. Chandos’s new recordings under Edward Gardner trade on the connection, using the very venue (the Town Hall) that Mendelssohn worked in, and there’s even a drawing he made of it on the cover. The performances of the Hebrides Overture, Reformation and Italian Symphonies are nicely energised rather than crisp, with both the recorded perspective and the music-making favouring warmth over sharpness of focus. If you want to encounter the most exciting sea-spray in the Hebrides, or the most pointed instrumental dancing in the speedy Saltarello that closes the Italian Symphony, the genial style on show here won’t be for you.