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Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 2 "Lobgesang" / Gardiner, London Symphony [SACD + Blu-ray]

Release Date: 09/01/2017 
Label:  Lso Live   Catalog #: 803  
Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Lucy CroweMichael SpyresJurgita Adamonyte
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi ChoirLondon Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Bringing his acclaimed Mendelssohn cycle to a rousing conclusion, Sir John Eliot Gardiner presents the composer’s symphony-cantata, Lobgesang. Mendelssohn wrote that the piece ‘lies very near my heart’, and with its stately grandeur and religiosity, plus its sheer magnitude – double the length of any of his other symphonies – it stands amongst his most impressive works. Posthumously categorised by editors as the composer’s second symphony, it is also known as a ‘song of praise’ and three talented soloists join the LSO and the world-class Monteverdi Choir for this recording. While Gardiner is well-versed in the German’s output, this release documents his first performance of the
Read more work. In an interview for The Arts Desk, he said: It’s a piece I’ve been looking at for years, and I’ve never conducted it. I was a bit sceptical at first, thinking that it was the torso of a symphony with a cantata bolted on. But it isn’t. It’s a delight. It has a lot of the inventiveness and sheer melodic flow of the young Mendelssohn and it’s perfectly calibrated and constructed.’ Presented as a Pure Audio Blu-ray and SACD Hybrid package - which includes master quality audio and downloadable content - the Lobgesang is the perfect end to Gardiner's exploration of Mendelssohn, who wrote pieces that are known the world over but also has so much more to offer. Summing up his feelings at the end of the project, the great conductor said: ‘My admiration for Mendelssohn has gone up enormously, as a result of really digging deep into these symphonies...it’s so rewarding with this group of players, they’re willing to go to the last enth degree, in terms of detail of phrasing and articulation, and that’s a joy.’



Aided by fine soloists and, above all, by Gardiner's excellent choir, this performance has a vitality that compels attention. There is a rhythmic crispness to the opening brass fanfares that signals clear intent, while the strings are sinewy but never underpowered. The excellent LSO woodwinds really dance in the second movement, with Gardiner pulling back just enough to retain a wistful character. Bust as soon as we get to the choral section, this performance catches fire like no other. The final choral fugue is genuinely uplifting. All in all, a splendid way to conclude the conductor's splendid cycle.

– Gramophone Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 2 in B flat major, Op. 52 "Lobgesang" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Lucy Crowe (Soprano), Michael Spyres (Tenor), Jurgita Adamonyte (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 

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