Search - Felix [1] Mendelssohn, Claudio Abbado, London Symphony Orchestra :: Mendelssohn: 5 Symphonies; 7 Overtures

Mendelssohn: 5 Symphonies; 7 Overtures
Felix [1] Mendelssohn, Claudio Abbado, London Symphony Orchestra
Mendelssohn: 5 Symphonies; 7 Overtures
Genre: Classical


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Lackluster Mendelssohn
J. Rich | 03/31/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I have mixed feelings in regards to Claudio Abbado. While I don't question his credentials, because he certainly has earned his place amongst other conductors, I do question the amount of research he has done on these pieces. Mendelssohn's "Scottish" and "Italian" symphonies merely sound like leftover Haydn and Mozart under him. That Romantic sweep that is heard in much of Mendelssohn's work, especially in these two symphonies, is gone. I think what Abbado doesn't understand is Mendelssohn is a Romantic composer and not a Classical period composer. "Hymn of Praise" and "Fingal's Cave," two of my personal favorites, are also not played with real conviction or at least not the kind of conviction Karajan had.

Unfortunately, I find these readings rather unsavory and lackluster. Abbado seems to just gloss over these works and fails to notice their idiosyncrasies. The London Symphony does an admirable job, but these interpretations are far from the majestic sweep of Karajan and Claus Peter Flor.

I give these recordings 2-stars: 1-star for effort and the other for the playing of the LSO, but I would seriously check out other collections before fully committing to this one."
Classic, thrilling performances at a rock bottom price!
G. Engler | The Frigid Northeast | 06/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have owned the original double jewel case in a slipbox version of these recordings from the time of their release, and the original rave review from The Gramophone. They were not an inexpensive purchase for me in my younger years - the original cost of the set was $60 (!). Listening through the set at that time, I had no regrets about my purchase. I am pleased to say that these discs continue to get pulled from my library shelves and listened to with some regularity.

I have always found Abbado's approach lithe and refreshing. The Lobgesang, Symphony 2, remains a powerful, thrilling and, yes, Romantic (note the capitol "R") performance. The remaining symphonies are played with robustness, and verve. I really do not understand the Classical:Romantic divide opined in other reviews. Mendelssohn is right on the line. The important thing is that Abbado brings a real lyrical and rhythmic sweep to these performances that makes them both timeless and profound.

This set seems to be selling for under $20 on amazon now. The sound remains full, and the contents have been augmented by some of Abbado's other Mendelssohn recordings (the Octet for example. At this price its a MUST HAVE addition to your classical music library.

This is a set that will provide a lifetime of enjoyment."
Probably the Last Mendelssohn Symphonies I'll Buy
David Scott Phipps | Dallas-Fort Worth, TX USA | 02/13/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is probably the last set of complete Mendelssohn Symphonies I'll buy. Why, you ask? Simply because this set is so good that I don't see the need to get another. Abbado has a great sense of Mendelssohn's "sound", his tempos (actually "tempi" for real Italian speakers) are spot on, and the LSO responds to him perfectly. Combine that with the fact that England was as good as Mendelssohn's second home during his lifetime, giving British orchestras a position of authenticity for Mendelssohn's music similar to the Wiener Philharmoniker's regarding Beethoven or Mozart, and I just don't see any need for me to spend money on another set that, after this one, would be surperfluous."