Soundbite 60: A sixty-word précis-review of the latest CD releases

Mendelssohn
Symphony No.3 in A minor, Op.56 (Scottish)
Symphony No.4 in A, Op.90 (Italian)
Symphony No.5 in D, Op.107 (Reformation)
Overtures:
The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave), Op.26
Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt (Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage), Op.27
Athalie, Op.74
Die Heimkehr aus der Fremde, Op.89
Ruy Blas, Op.95
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Riccardo Muti
Moshe Atzmon [Overtures]

Recorded in London between 1974 and 1979 in Kingsway Hall and No.1 Studio, Abbey Road
CD No: EMI 3 81788 2 (2 CDs)
Duration: 2 hours 31 minutes
Reviewed: April 2007
Muti directs the symphonies with flair and discipline; these are weighty, sonorous, and dynamic accounts, all-repeats-observed, the ‘Scottish’ especially epic. The finale of the ‘Italian’ tries to break the speed record, though, but without compromising ensemble or finesse. The ‘Reformation’ is carefully sculpted, dramatic and rhetorical, the scherzo delightful, the Andante blissfully tender. Atzmon leads atmospheric versions of the overtures.

 

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