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Mendelssohn: String Symphonies / Goodman, Hanover Band


Release Date: 06/08/2004 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 60427   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 44 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is an excellent set, intelligently assembled, scrupulously prepared, lucidly recorded, played with a freshness and wit that serve these delightful pieces well.

Mendelssohn's extraordinary precocity is nowhere more comprehensively shown than in the 13 early string symphonies, and though it is extraordinary that these were unknown until 1960, it is scarcely less so that there are still works in Berlin awaiting editing and performance. The symphonies are exceptional, though, in that the range of their invention far exceeds what might be expected of even so prodigiously talented a boy. He had been rigorously schooled in Bach counterpoint, and in harmony partly by way of the chorale; and impressive examples of his
Read more diligence have been published in R. Larry Todd's Mendelssohn's Musical Education (Cambridge: 1983). But the inventiveness with which this schooling was put into effect remains dazzling, as with (to take only two examples) the chorale idea in the Minuet of the Sixth Symphony or the brilliant contrapuntal writing in the Eighth Symphony, in which the more immediate inspiration was Mozart, and in particular the Jupiter Symphony.

Roy Goodman makes use of the version with wind instruments for this symphony, which Mendelssohn made within three days of having written the original, and (with one reservation) accepts Mendelssohn's astonishingly fast tempo markings. He brings them off brilliantly, even the helter-skelter bass pizzicatos in the Trio of the Minuet. He also shows, with the use of period string techniques, how quick Mendelssohn's ear was for novel sonorities. An affection for the still underprivileged viola may have come from Mozart, but Mendelssohn would also have heard these sounds pioneered by Weber (who otherwise barely influenced him in these works). There are beautiful string sonorities even in the very earliest works, especially in the often darkly-hued slow movements; and the finales have all the pace and wit of the more mature Mendelssohn (that is to say, when he was in hisleens). Goodman judges tempo well, which is to say he has a shrewd sense of weight as well as of pace. He also directs from the keyboard, which it is certain Mendelssohn himself would have done at those famous Sunday morning concerts in his parents' Berlin house, and he permits himself the occasional contribution: both in theory and in practice, this is entirely in style.

This is an excellent set, intelligently assembled, scrupulously prepared, lucidly recorded, played with a freshness and wit that serve these delightful pieces well. It includes the Sinfoniesatz, an isolated piece of romantic baroque with a slow introduction and a quasi-fugal fast section, less attractive than the other works but worth including for curiosity value.

-- Gramophone [1/1996]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony for Strings no 1 in C major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Germany 
2.
Symphony for Strings no 2 in D major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Germany 
3.
Symphony for Strings no 3 in E minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Germany 
4.
Symphony for Strings no 4 in C minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Germany 
5.
Symphony for Strings no 5 in B flat major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Germany 
6.
Symphony for Strings no 6 in E flat major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1821; Germany 
7.
Symphony for Strings no 7 in D minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1821-22; Germany 
8.
Symphony for Strings no 8 in D major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Germany 
9.
Symphony for Strings no 9 in C major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 
10.
Symphony for Strings no 10 in B minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 
11.
Symphony for Strings no 11 in F major by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 
12.
Symphony for Strings no 12 in G minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 
13.
Symphony for Strings no 13 in C minor "Symphoniesatz" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roy Goodman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 

Sound Samples

Allegro
Andante
Allegro
Allegro
Andante
Allegro vivace
Allegro di molto
Andante
Allegro
Grave; Allegro
Andante
Allegro vivace
Allegro vivace
Andante
Presto
Allegro vivace
Menuetto
Prestissimo
String Symphony No. 10 in B-Minor: Adagio; Allegro
Allegro
Andante
Menuetto
Allegro molto
Adagio; Allegro
Adagio
Menuetto
Allegro molto
Fuga: Grave; Allegro
Andante
Allegro molto

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Disappointing Recording August 18, 2012 By Michael R. (Huntington Woods, MI) See All My Reviews "These string symphonies are from Mendelssohn's youth, but they have the quality of music composed by a mature artist of the highest caliber. If you are not familiar with them they are worth your time to get to know. Roy Goodman and The Hanover Band are period performance specialists and have the credentials to bring something special to these symphonies. Goodman and his band delivers as hoped for but the overly thick and reverberant recording destroys everything that these fine musicians played. I can't recall an instance when the recording engineers did this kind of damage. I can't recommend this set to any one and I suggest you look else where for a complete set of Mendelssohn's String Symphonies. " Report Abuse
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