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Mendelssohn in Birmingham, Vol. 1 - The Hebrides, Op. 26; Symphonies nos 4 'Italian' and 5 'Reformation' / Gardner

Album Summary

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Hebrides Overture, in B minor Op. 26 "Fingal's Cave"
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Symphony no 5 in D major, Op. 107 "Reformation"
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Symphony no 4 in A major, Op. 90 "Italian"
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The start of a recording project marking Felix Mendelssohn's special relationship with the city. Recorded at Birmingham Town Hall, where Mendelssohn conducted many times. This series which will feature Mendelssohn's complete symphonies. Edward Gardner conducts the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Hybrid Surround Sound SACD

Gramophone Magazine, February 2014
Gardner's approach is entirely logical, given Mendelssohn's markings. The Hebrides is very dramatically played...All in all a fine trio of performances, individual for sure, and an encouraging start to what I hope will be an extended series.

Sunday Times, 2nd February 2014
[Gardner] and the Birminghamsters catch the hazy "Scottish" atmosphere of the Hebrides, and he is expansive in the outer movements of the Reformation, with its quotation of the Dresden Amen and Luther's chorale, Ein feste Burg. The Italian Symphony is exhilaratingly delivered - with poetic solos in the andante con moto - especially the breathless Saltarello presto finale.

The Telegraph, 20th February 2014
He characterises the land- and seascape of the "Hebrides" Overture with a good ear for storm, surge and serenity, and the purposeful instrumental detail that he elicits is a vital factor, too, in the "Reformation" Symphony.

BBC Music Magazine, April 2014
Unsurprisingly, the quality of the playing here is very high. I particularly enjoyed the timpani roars in The Hebrides Overture. In the Italian Symphony, Gardner coaxes elegant phrasing from the strings...In contrast, [he] allows the Reformation Symphony its full measure of grandeur and intensity.

MusicWeb International, 28th March 2014
Did it move me? The answer is a resounding 'Yes'. The playing is enthusiastic and balances the intimacy and drama of much of this music. Gardner is sympathetic to the nuances of Fingal's Cave and the sun-drenched pages of the Italian Symphony: he has given me a version of the Reformation Symphony that I can do business with.

American Record Guide, July/August 2014
Symphony 4 (Italian) and the Overture (also known as Fingal's Cave) were both heard first in London, and the Fifth (Reformation) had its premiere in Berlin. Nor, while we're issuing disclaimers, do the symphony numbers indicate chronology; after Mendelssohn's 12 youthful string symphonies the five numbered symphonies were written in the order 1, 5, 4, 2, 3. These performances are very satisfying in that they combine a sweet, romantic grace with enough energy and crispness to make them both refined and exciting. The orchestra plays very well under Gardner, and Chandos supplies excellent sound and notes.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Town Hall, Birmingham (10/20/2013/10/21/2013).



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Works Details

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Hebrides Overture, in B minor Op. 26 "Fingal's Cave"
  • Conductor: Edward Gardner
  • Ensemble: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Town Hall, Birmingham (10/20/2013/10/21/2013)
  • Running Time: 10 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 12/11/1830

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Symphony no 5 in D major, Op. 107 "Reformation"
  • Conductor: Edward Gardner
  • Notes: Town Hall, Birmingham (10/20/2013/10/21/2013)
  • Running Time: 27 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 05/12/1830

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Symphony no 4 in A major, Op. 90 "Italian"
  • Conductor: Edward Gardner
  • Notes: Town Hall, Birmingham (10/20/2013/10/21/2013)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 03/13/1833