Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto; Hebrides Overture; Symphony No 5 review: bringing Mendelssohn back to basics

Wed, Sep 20, 2017, 17:01


Mendelssohn Violin Concerto

Isabelle Faust; Pablo Heras-Casado; Felix Mendelssohn

Harmonia Mundi


You may be surprised by the recessed, almost faint profile of the solo violin at the start of Isabelle Faust’s new recording of Mendelssohn’s E minor Violin Concerto. That balance and her unusually fine-spun tone are a harbinger of a performance that, more than most, seeks to draw the music back to its mid-19th-century roots.

Vibrato is sparing, the sliding between notes of expressive portamento is more to the fore than usual. And the fresh thinking extends fully to the orchestral contribution of the Freiburger Barockorchester under Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado.

You’ll find it, too, in both the Hebrides Overture and Reformation Symphony. But the standout performances is undoubtedly the Violin Concerto.