Notes & Reviews:
Named 2014 Conductor of the Year by Musical America, Pablo Heras-Casado has made his name exploring repertoire that is outside of the mainstream. For his second recording on the harmonia mundi label, Heras-Casado conducts Mendelssohn's Symphony No.2, nicknamed Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise). Commissioned to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the invention of the printing press, the work is a massive symphony-cantata for soloists, chorus and orchestra. Although clearly inspired by Beethoven's ninth, the comparison did the work no favors with critics of the time and eventually it fell into an unjust obscurity. The symphony consists of a three-movement instrumental 'overture' followed by ten movements for orchestra, soloists and choir set to texts from the Lutheran bible. Joined by sopranos Christiane Karg and Christina Landshamer and tenor Michael Schade, Heras-Casado leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir in a powerful performance of this sweeping vocal and choral epic.
Financial Times, 31st March 2014
Its quasi-devotional, cross-genre status demands special advocacy, and gets it ...Michael Schade, Christiane Karg and Christina Landshammer are the persuasive soloists, while the chorus radiates belief in its pivotal "armour of light" outburst and subsequent Bach-inspired chorale.
MusicWeb International, 12th June 2014
This is an outstanding performance of the Sinfonia by the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks with considerable forward momentum under the assured direction of Pablo Heras-Casado...This excellent new release is a match for any of the versions in the catalogue.
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