Mendelssohn: Symphonies Nos 1 & 4 (Italian) / Jörg Widmann: Ad absurdum album review

Thu, Jun 2, 2016, 16:54


Mendelssohn Symphonies 1 & 4; Widmann Ad absurdum

Jörg Widmann, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Sergei Nakariakov, Felix Mendelssohn



German clarinettist, conductor and composer Jörg Widmann was apparently born with enough energy for two people. He drives Mendelssohn’s music with a nervy energy that’s likely to keep you on the edge of your seat.

When the volume is high, the sound is very much in your face, at times almost raw, yet the lighter moments in the two symphonies here are spick and span in the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s most delicate style.

His own Ad absurdum is a paean to virtuosity, a crazily extended trumpet concerto in the form of a moto perpetuo so extreme that the music becomes a kind of theatre. Think of Rimsky’s Flight of the Bumble Bee on speed.