Author Topic: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!  (Read 32101 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #160 on: May 14, 2021, 09:41:33 AM »
This is an excellent book on Mendelssohn. Highly recommended.

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Offline JBS

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #161 on: May 14, 2021, 12:20:32 PM »
Nezet-Seguin has the unrevised Reformation Symphony, which shows that composer revisions are not always the best idea


Does Manacorda do the unrevised version?

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Offline aligreto

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #162 on: May 17, 2021, 01:21:14 AM »



I have in the past, for some reason unknown to me, paid scant attention to the String Quartets of Mendelssohn. That has changed significantly after hearing this set performed by the Gewandhaus Quartet. Both the music and their performances of it are excellent in every way. This has been a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening listening experience. The integrity of the cycle of string quartets is totally complete with exceptional performances throughout.

I will now go on to listen to Mendelssohn’s String Quintets of which I am equally ignorant. I have only attended to the Octet in the past but at least that is now, or soon will be, rectified.


I have now recently listened to the Mendelssohn String Quintets from the set above. Once again I have paid scant heed to these String Quintets of Mendelssohn in the past. Once again I have missed out on some wonderful musical listening. Once again it is wonderful music and string writing.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #163 on: June 27, 2021, 06:23:38 AM »
Okay, after listening to the Concerto Köln for the complete Mendelssohn string symphonies, I would now like recommendations for a complete set on modern instruments, if that exists.  :)

I do think the Concerto Köln performances to be quite good, but I get a feeling that I would prefer Mendelssohn on modern instruments in more Romantic hued performances.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #164 on: June 27, 2021, 08:59:00 AM »
Okay, after listening to the Concerto Köln for the complete Mendelssohn string symphonies, I would now like recommendations for a complete set on modern instruments, if that exists.  :)

I do think the Concerto Köln performances to be quite good, but I get a feeling that I would prefer Mendelssohn on modern instruments in more Romantic hued performances.

Hi Ray - I also own the Concerto Köln set and enjoy.  Over the years, I've had 2 or 3 other sets in my collection but now just have the one other shown below w/ Lev Markiz and the Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam string orchestra - DDD recordings from 1993-96 - I've attached some reviews, all consistently excellent comments - NOW, BIS has put all of these discs on a single SACD (several of the reviews address this release) at a great price, but this release will only work on a SACD player.  Dave :)

 

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #165 on: June 27, 2021, 09:11:53 AM »
Okay, after listening to the Concerto Köln for the complete Mendelssohn string symphonies, I would now like recommendations for a complete set on modern instruments, if that exists.  :)

I do think the Concerto Köln performances to be quite good, but I get a feeling that I would prefer Mendelssohn on modern instruments in more Romantic hued performances.

I've enjoyed the Nicholas Ward on Naxos.

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #166 on: June 28, 2021, 04:33:55 AM »
Thanks Dave and VLF!  8)

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #167 on: June 28, 2021, 04:41:29 AM »
Hi Ray - I also own the Concerto Köln set and enjoy.  Over the years, I've had 2 or 3 other sets in my collection but now just have the one other shown below w/ Lev Markiz and the Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam string orchestra - DDD recordings from 1993-96 - I've attached some reviews, all consistently excellent comments - NOW, BIS has put all of these discs on a single SACD (several of the reviews address this release) at a great price, but this release will only work on a SACD player.  Dave :)

 

Dave, is the Markiz set performed on modern instruments?

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #168 on: June 28, 2021, 05:56:52 AM »
Dave, is the Markiz set performed on modern instruments?

Hi Ray - knowing that your wanted a MI recording I checked the Markiz booklet notes/jewel box inserts and there was absolutely nothing indicating the kind of instruments used, although I suspect 'modern', i.e. meaning strings used, tuning, and performance techniques (although the instruments per se may be of any age, as in the pic of them below of the recent group?).  Also, they perform all sorts of repertoire, including new commissioned works suggesting to me that modern instruments are used - maybe others will 'chime in' to help; also, check out YouTube - there are likely videos of their playing, possibly even the Mendelssohn String Symphonies, don't know?

Another set that I owned for years and loved was w/ Ross Pople and the London Festival Orchestra (believe a MI group) on Hyperion (PDF booklet HERE) - I just needed the space and liked Markiz a little better.  Dave :)

 

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #169 on: June 28, 2021, 06:47:12 AM »
Hi Ray - knowing that your wanted a MI recording I checked the Markiz booklet notes/jewel box inserts and there was absolutely nothing indicating the kind of instruments used, although I suspect 'modern', i.e. meaning strings used, tuning, and performance techniques (although the instruments per se may be of any age, as in the pic of them below of the recent group?).  Also, they perform all sorts of repertoire, including new commissioned works suggesting to me that modern instruments are used - maybe others will 'chime in' to help; also, check out YouTube - there are likely videos of their playing, possibly even the Mendelssohn String Symphonies, don't know?

Another set that I owned for years and loved was w/ Ross Pople and the London Festival Orchestra (believe a MI group) on Hyperion (PDF booklet HERE) - I just needed the space and liked Markiz a little better.  Dave :)

 

Excellent, thank you Dave!  :)

Offline VonStupp

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #170 on: June 28, 2021, 12:22:16 PM »
Okay, after listening to the Concerto Köln for the complete Mendelssohn string symphonies, I would now like recommendations for a complete set on modern instruments, if that exists.  :)

I do think the Concerto Köln performances to be quite good, but I get a feeling that I would prefer Mendelssohn on modern instruments in more Romantic hued performances.

I had Kurt Masur and the Gewandhaus on LP ages ago, and I just reinvested in their CD set of String Symphonies today.

It has been so long since I have listened, and I probably won't get to them anytime soon, but I have fond memories of their performances on Berlin Classics.

They would certainly be a more Romantic, modern instrument performance in these works. And with Mendelssohn's own orchestra too!

I'm not sure why these weren't issued with Masur's Mendelssohn box; probably licensing.

I have been without these for a long time.


« Last Edit: June 28, 2021, 02:44:16 PM by VonStupp »
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Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #171 on: June 29, 2021, 03:57:46 AM »
I had Kurt Masur and the Gewandhaus on LP ages ago, and I just reinvested in their CD set of String Symphonies today.

It has been so long since I have listened, and I probably won't get to them anytime soon, but I have fond memories of their performances on Berlin Classics.

They would certainly be a more Romantic, modern instrument performance in these works. And with Mendelssohn's own orchestra too!

I'm not sure why these weren't issued with Masur's Mendelssohn box; probably licensing.

Yes, I'm confused why they didn't include the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig set of the string symphonies to go with the mature full scale symphonies? Instead, it is a hybrid of Masur in the mature symphonies with the Concerto Köln for the string symphonies. As you say, perhaps a licensing issue?

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #172 on: September 27, 2021, 04:14:43 AM »



I have in the past, for some reason unknown to me, paid scant attention to the String Quartets of Mendelssohn. That has changed significantly after hearing this set performed by the Gewandhaus Quartet. Both the music and their performances of it are excellent in every way. This has been a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening listening experience. The integrity of the cycle of string quartets is totally complete with exceptional performances throughout.

I will now go on to listen to Mendelssohn’s String Quintets of which I am equally ignorant. I have only attended to the Octet in the past but at least that is now, or soon will be, rectified.

I know I'm quoting a post from May but I found this set in a local charity shop and picked it up today.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #173 on: September 27, 2021, 03:11:15 PM »
I know I'm quoting a post from May but I found this set in a local charity shop and picked it up today.

Nice find! I've been looking for a copy.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #174 on: October 02, 2021, 12:39:12 AM »



I know I'm quoting a post from May but I found this set in a local charity shop and picked it up today.

Excellent. What luck! I think that you will thoroughly enjoy it.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #175 on: October 10, 2021, 02:41:19 AM »
I have just embarked on another Mendelssohn odyssey with this, set with Ashkenazy at the helm:





A Midsummer’s Night Dream 

Notwithstanding the brisk tempi this presentation is magical, enchanting and exciting from the opening bars. The orchestra creates a wonderful atmosphere with a deftness and a lightness of touch that is assured yet still quite enchanting. One can but admire the fine portrayal of the orchestration and the harmonies here. I also find the portrayal of the woodwinds to be particularly engaging; they have a significant voice here. The brass also has a worthy voice here. The vocal element of the work was also very well delivered. The conclusion is wonderfully enchanting. I was very impressed with this version.

Octet

This is a version for String Orchestra. What a magnificent sweeping introduction to this version and this grand sweep continues throughout the movement. The slow movement is too saccharine for me. The Scherzo is suitably lively. The final movement takes the pace up another notch from the Scherzo and it is a whirlwind in places, but light and wonderfully flighty.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #176 on: October 10, 2021, 03:15:26 AM »
I have just embarked on another Mendelssohn odyssey with this, set with Ashkenazy at the helm:





A Midsummer’s Night Dream 

Notwithstanding the brisk tempi this presentation is magical, enchanting and exciting from the opening bars. The orchestra creates a wonderful atmosphere with a deftness and a lightness of touch that is assured yet still quite enchanting. One can but admire the fine portrayal of the orchestration and the harmonies here. I also find the portrayal of the woodwinds to be particularly engaging; they have a significant voice here. The brass also has a worthy voice here. The vocal element of the work was also very well delivered. The conclusion is wonderfully enchanting. I was very impressed with this version.

Octet

This is a version for String Orchestra. What a magnificent sweeping introduction to this version and this grand sweep continues throughout the movement. The slow movement is too saccharine for me. The Scherzo is suitably lively. The final movement takes the pace up another notch from the Scherzo and it is a whirlwind in places, but light and wonderfully flighty.

I've had and enjoyed the Ashkenazy set of symphonies for a long time! Just the symphonies, my set doesn't include the extras like yours.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #177 on: October 10, 2021, 03:17:43 AM »
I've had and enjoyed the Ashkenazy set of symphonies for a long time! Just the symphonies, my set doesn't include the extras like yours.

Good to know that the symphonies come with your recommendation, Ray.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #178 on: October 31, 2021, 08:08:39 AM »
Symphonies 1-5 [Ashkenazy]:





I recently completed a listening survey of this Ashkenazy cycle and I was very impressed with it.


Symphony No. 1: This is a light and bright first movement presentation. It swirls like a breeze as it moves along but it is never overly forced. The scoring is well presented here with all of the groups being well balanced in a good recording. The slow movement is a wonderful contrast in tempo and mood. The woodwinds sound wonderful. The Menuetto is quick in pace with an interesting mix of moods making it atmospherically interesting. Once again the woodwinds shine. The final movement is pacy and well driven. The movement has a fine conclusion.

Symphony No. 2: Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 was always an odd one for me and I am still not sure that I understand it. I have always found it to be a problematic work. One of its issues for me is the multiplicity of movements in it. Perhaps this affects the work’s coherency and cogency in presenting a unified whole; is it too fragmented? Anyway, being objective, the presentation here is excellent with all parties performing superbly. The blend between the vocal and instrumental elements is very fine indeed. The final movement is particularly powerful.

Symphony No. 3: This symphony has a wonderful opening. It is enchanting music and it is well delivered here. As the music progresses in the movement the music explodes wonderfully and it is both powerful and lyrical in turns. The second movement is a spirited affair and I particularly like the scoring for the woodwinds. The slow movement is presented wonderfully lyrical and expansive here. The final
movement is an exciting affair and the work concludes with a satisfactory and definitive resolution. This is a very fine presentation of this music; it is both driven and sensitive and it achieves a fine
balance between those two elements. The scoring is also noticeably very fine and rich.

Symphony No. 4: This must have one of the most instantly recognisable openings to a symphony. The whole opening movement is well presented; it is light, crisp but not overly driven. The orchestral textures of the music is also very apparent. Although this is a serious version I really like the feeling of “lightness” here. Once again, the textures in the slow movement are wonderful. The lower register strings sound wonderful as a sort of ground bass accompaniment; prominent and effective. The third movement is quite lyrical and this is a smooth, rounded presentation of it with those wonderful orchestral textures once again being wonderfully balanced and highlighted. The tempo takes flight again wonderfully in the final movement; it is quite invigorating. Those flitting woodwinds are wonderful. This is a most delightful and engaging version of this work. The recorded sound is excellent.

Symphony No. 5: The depth of emotion portrayed in the opening movement is profound. The breadth of the orchestration is also very skillfully presented. This is wonderful music and music making. I like the unrelenting forward momentum and drive in the movement. It is sympathetically paced throughout in an excellent presentation here delivering high drama, tension and wonderful exuberance. The second movement is a buoyant, Scherzo-like movement. It is light and quirky, engaging and again well delivered here. The short slow movement is more on the solemn side in terms of tone but the
harmonies and scoring are always very engaging and appealing. The final movement is a wonderfully expansive Chorale. The scoring is wonderful and I like the graduated changes in the tempo, offering a
fine dramatic element culminating in a very fine conclusion.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #179 on: October 31, 2021, 08:35:38 AM »
Symphonies 1-5 [Ashkenazy]:





I recently completed a listening survey of this Ashkenazy cycle and I was very impressed with it.


Symphony No. 1: This is a light and bright first movement presentation. It swirls like a breeze as it moves along but it is never overly forced. The scoring is well presented here with all of the groups being well balanced in a good recording. The slow movement is a wonderful contrast in tempo and mood. The woodwinds sound wonderful. The Menuetto is quick in pace with an interesting mix of moods making it atmospherically interesting. Once again the woodwinds shine. The final movement is pacy and well driven. The movement has a fine conclusion.

Symphony No. 2: Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 was always an odd one for me and I am still not sure that I understand it. I have always found it to be a problematic work. One of its issues for me is the multiplicity of movements in it. Perhaps this affects the work’s coherency and cogency in presenting a unified whole; is it too fragmented? Anyway, being objective, the presentation here is excellent with all parties performing superbly. The blend between the vocal and instrumental elements is very fine indeed. The final movement is particularly powerful.

Symphony No. 3: This symphony has a wonderful opening. It is enchanting music and it is well delivered here. As the music progresses in the movement the music explodes wonderfully and it is both powerful and lyrical in turns. The second movement is a spirited affair and I particularly like the scoring for the woodwinds. The slow movement is presented wonderfully lyrical and expansive here. The final
movement is an exciting affair and the work concludes with a satisfactory and definitive resolution. This is a very fine presentation of this music; it is both driven and sensitive and it achieves a fine
balance between those two elements. The scoring is also noticeably very fine and rich.

Symphony No. 4: This must have one of the most instantly recognisable openings to a symphony. The whole opening movement is well presented; it is light, crisp but not overly driven. The orchestral textures of the music is also very apparent. Although this is a serious version I really like the feeling of “lightness” here. Once again, the textures in the slow movement are wonderful. The lower register strings sound wonderful as a sort of ground bass accompaniment; prominent and effective. The third movement is quite lyrical and this is a smooth, rounded presentation of it with those wonderful orchestral textures once again being wonderfully balanced and highlighted. The tempo takes flight again wonderfully in the final movement; it is quite invigorating. Those flitting woodwinds are wonderful. This is a most delightful and engaging version of this work. The recorded sound is excellent.

Symphony No. 5: The depth of emotion portrayed in the opening movement is profound. The breadth of the orchestration is also very skillfully presented. This is wonderful music and music making. I like the unrelenting forward momentum and drive in the movement. It is sympathetically paced throughout in an excellent presentation here delivering high drama, tension and wonderful exuberance. The second movement is a buoyant, Scherzo-like movement. It is light and quirky, engaging and again well delivered here. The short slow movement is more on the solemn side in terms of tone but the
harmonies and scoring are always very engaging and appealing. The final movement is a wonderfully expansive Chorale. The scoring is wonderful and I like the graduated changes in the tempo, offering a
fine dramatic element culminating in a very fine conclusion.

Glad you enjoyed this set.  :)