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Mendelssohn: Complete Symphonies, String Symphonies, Concertos / Markiz, Litton, Amsterdam Sinfonietta , Bergen Philharmonic

Mendelssohn / Bergen Philharmonic Orch / Litton
Release Date: 10/30/2012 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 2002  
Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Jennifer LarmoreJudith HowarthChristoph PrégardienIsabelle van Keulen,   ... 
Conductor:  Andrew LittonLev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic OrchestraAmsterdam Sinfonietta
Number of Discs: 11 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 12 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

You can have too much of a good thing, but Mendelssohn wrote a lot of music that deserves to be better known, and if you’re a hard core Mendelssohnian or are just curious to learn what you’ve been missing, this attractively priced 11-disc set deserves your consideration. The performances of the five standard symphonies with Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic are uniformly fine: very well played, and intelligently paced. Once example that all fans of the composer will appreciate is the ideal tempo that Litton chooses for the coda of the Scottish Symphony (sound clip)–grand but fluid, so that the music never sounds as though it should have stopped a few minutes before it actually does.

The twelve string symphonies, early though
Read more they are, contain a great deal of masterful music, and the later ones are in fact quite substantial. This set is both the most complete, as well as on balance the most desirable yet recorded. You get both versions of No. 8 (with and without winds), plus the single movement No. 13, and also the scherzo from the Octet in its string orchestra arrangement (later on in the box). Lev Markiz leads the Amsterdam Sinfonietta in performances that respect the music’s classical roots without sacrificing warmth or beauty of tone. Rhythms are sharp, tempos lively, and the string ensemble consistently well balanced.

There are four discs of concertos here, including Isabelle van Keulen’s excellent original version of the famous E minor Violin Concerto (second sample). Everyone will have favorite performances of this music, or at least the more famous works, but with Markiz once again in charge of the accompaniments, these versions with chamber orchestra are all of a piece. There’s a welcome intimacy between solo(s) and orchestra that makes these recordings quite distinctive and appealing. The solo piano concertos have plenty of sparkle in Brautigam’s hands, while Roland Pöntinen and Love Derwinger play the two double piano concertos with unaffected brilliance.

Some of this music (the lesser known concertos) is not always easy to find in top-knotch performances, so even if you wind up duplicating the standard pieces, this may well be worth considering. With fabulous sonics, you really can’t go wrong at mid to budget price.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Ruy Blas Overture, Op. 95 by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Germany 
2.
Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 11 by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824; Germany 
3.
Symphony no 4 in A major, Op. 90 "Italian" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Germany 
4.
Symphony no 2 in B flat major, Op. 52 "Lobgesang" by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Jennifer Larmore (Mezzo Soprano), Judith Howarth (Soprano), Christoph Prégardien (Tenor)
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Length: 60 Minutes 27 Secs. 
5.
Symphony no 3 in A minor, Op. 56 "Scottish" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
6.
Symphony no 5 in D major, Op. 107 "Reformation" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Germany 
7.
Symphony for Strings no 1 in C major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Germany 
8.
Symphony for Strings no 2 in D major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Germany 
9.
Symphony for Strings no 3 in E minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Germany 
10.
Symphony for Strings no 4 in C minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Germany 
11.
Symphony for Strings no 5 in B flat major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Germany 
12.
Symphony for Strings no 6 in E flat major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Germany 
13.
Symphony for Strings no 7 in D minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1821-22; Germany 
14.
Symphony for Strings no 8 in D major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Germany 
15.
Symphony for Strings no 9 in C major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 
16.
Symphony for Strings no 10 in B minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 
17.
Symphony for Strings no 11 in F major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 
18.
Symphony for Strings no 12 in G minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 
19.
Symphony for Strings no 13 in C minor "Symphoniesatz" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 
20.
Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Isabelle van Keulen (Violin)
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Germany 
21.
Concerto for Violin in D minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Isabelle van Keulen (Violin)
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Germany 
22.
Concerto for Piano and Violin in D minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Isabelle van Keulen (Violin), Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 
23.
Capriccio brillant for Piano and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 22 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1825-26; Germany 
24.
Rondo brillant for Piano and Orchestra in E flat major, Op. 29 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834; Germany 
25.
Concerto for Piano in A minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Germany 
26.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in G minor, Op. 25 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Germany 
27.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in D minor, Op. 40 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano)
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Germany 
28.
Concerto for 2 Pianos in E major by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano), Roland Pöntinen (Piano)
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 
29.
Concerto for 2 Pianos in A flat major by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Piano), Love Derwinger (Piano)
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824; Germany 
30.
Serenade and Allegro giocoso for Piano and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 43 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Ronald Brautigam (Fortepiano)
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Germany 
31.
Octet for Strings in E flat major, Op. 20: 3rd movement, Scherzo by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Lev Markiz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Germany 

Featured Sound Samples

String Symphony no 4: III. Allegro vivace
Piano Concerto no 2: III. Finale
Symphony no 4 "Italian": I. Allegro vivace

Sound Samples

Ruy Blas Overture, Op. 95: MWV P15
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 11, MWV N13: I. Allegro di molto
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 11, MWV N13: II. Andante
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 11, MWV N13: III. Menuetto: Allegro molto
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 11, MWV N13: IV. Allegro con fuoco
Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90, MWV N16, "Italian": I. Allegro vivace
Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90, MWV N16, "Italian": II. Andante con moto
Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90, MWV N16, "Italian": III. Con moto moderato
Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90, MWV N16, "Italian": IV. Saltarello: Presto
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, MWV A18, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise): I. Sinfonia: Maestoso con moto - Allegro -
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, MWV A18, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise): I. Allegretto un poco agitato -
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, MWV A18, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise): I. Adagio religioso
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, MWV A18, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise): II. Alles was Odem hat (Chorus) -
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, MWV A18, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise): III. Recitative: Saget es, die ihr erlost seid (Tenor) -
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, MWV A18, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise): IV. Sagt es, die ihr erloset seid (Chorus)
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, MWV A18, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise): V. Ich harrete des Herrn (2 Sopranos, Chorus)
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, MWV A18, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise): VI. Stricke des Todes hatten uns umfangen (Tenor) -
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, MWV A18, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise): VI. Die Nacht ist vergangen (Soprano) - VII. Die Nacht ist vergangen (Chorus)
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, MWV A18, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise): VIII. Chorale: Nun danket alle Gott (Chorus)
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, MWV A18, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise): IX. Drum sing' ich mit meinem Liede (Soprano, Tenor)
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, MWV A18, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise): X. Ihr Volker, bringet her dem Herrn (Chorus)
Applause

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