Mendelssohn symphonies

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Mendelssohn symphonies

I've been having a think about Mendelssohn symphonies, now I know he aint your greatest composer but I do like some of his string quartets, them being in the minor key. Is his symphonies worth bothering with cause he can be a bit wishy washy sometimes, don't fancy that choral one though.

RE: Mendelssohn symphonies

No need to apologize for Mendelssohn! He has remained popular for over two hundred years. I only know his 'Scottish' and 'Italian' symphonies, both life-enhancing. I also love 'Elijah', which contains glorious writing for both chorus and soloists. I have the Frubeck de Burgos version - a very real bargain and worth having for the singing of Nicolai Gedda alone - the beauty of his voice and his diction (the work is sung in English) are a lasting source of joy.

Adrian

RE: Mendelssohn symphonies

Thank you for your prompt reply Adrian. I don't know whether hes worth investingating in his symphonies but I do like some string quartets hes done with the elijah quartet. very nice. I likes that Vaughan Williams as well and quite often listens to him but he can make you nod off sometimes which is not a good idea when Im driving me tractor. I dont mean no harm but that mendelssohn can seem a bit effeminate sometimes and like hes just writing for the sake of it. I mean if you aint got no work to do dont go doing it, every farmer knows thaart.

Mendelssohn symphonies

Devon, Mendelssohn's Symphonies are some of the greatest in the whole symphonic repertory. The last three are true masterpieces of craftsmanship, inspiring melodies, great rhythms, bold but refined orchestration and superb use of the structural rules of composition (sonata form, rondo, variations, etc.). The "Scottish" (the Third) is his glorious one, the "Italian" (his Fourth) is an absolute delight in every way and "the Reformation" (his Fifth) is the more dramatic and assertive.

Mendelssohn is the equivalent of Mozart in the 19th century. A young short-lived man who was talented enough to compose a series of great works, including the String Quartets in the minor mode you like most (try to listen carefully the E-flat major, op.44, no.3 as well; it's a great masterpiece).

Among the other great works, his two String Quintets are the best written after Mozart and are worthy of both the Mozart and the Brahms ones. Absolute masterpieces! His two Piano Trios are genuine jewels of the genre. The Violin and Cello Sonatas are more complex and less straightforward works, but, nonetheless, are solid and interesting to listen. His Piano Music contains some marvellous works, second to none. As for his Choral Works, apart from the very well known Elias, there are plenty of smaller masterworks along with the other wonderful Oratorio, Paulus.

In sort, Mendelssohn is a great composer by any standard and he fully deserves our attention and further exploration.

Parla

RE: Mendelssohn symphonies

Thank you for that. I might give em a go then. He don't seem to have much reputation in England nowadays. Don't know about that scottish one though, I dont like the sound of them bagpipes blurring out.

RE: Mendelssohn symphonies

This post has got to be a wind up. Devon Farmer being Dr Brodsky's latest psuedonymn I presume?

RE: Mendelssohn symphonies

Sorry cabelle I was just asking for some advice on mendelssohn symphonies. I don't know why this puts the wind up you and I dont understand the last bit. Do you not like mendelssohn then, some folk think he be a bit lightweight. But then some folk think mozart be a bit lightweight too. I don't know you pays your money you takes you chance I spose.

RE: Mendelssohn symphonies

Mendelssohn's popularity does seem to have taken a dip (apart from the violin concerto) in the last half of the 20th century, from the days when he was presented to Queen Victoria. Agree with Adrian on the Italian & Scottish, followed by the Reformation. Not too taken with the choral one though, perhaps time to give it another listen.  I suppose I have a soft spot for the Italian (serendipitous moment?) as it was the very first LP we got around 1951 for our new radiogram which would play these new fangled records. A 10 inch Decca played perhaps appropriately enough by the Turin Symphony Orch conducted by Mario Rossi, details engrained on my memory!

RE: Mendelssohn symphonies

Must admit im not too keen on his violin concerto but then im not too keen on a lot of violin concertos. Thart as been putting me off going further then them quartets but I might try the symphonies. Didnt like the Schumann symphonies till I tried them and they be right good. That Norrington seems a reliable sort but I likes that Zinman as well right fast sometimes.

RE: Mendelssohn symphonies

Don't forget his 12 string symphonies, works of a young man, interesting and entertaining at least. Among his five symphonies, I prefer the first (Flor on RCA), the 3rd 'Scottish' (Bernstein on DG or Masur on RCA) and sometimes the 5th (Munch on RCA).

But I concur that the best Mendelssohn is found in his chamber music (Sqs & piano trios particularly), his fantastic overtures (hebrides & fingal's cave....), the midsummer night's dream (incidental music) and his 2nd violin concerto that sounds fresh w/ plenty of vigour: one of the best indeed.

I must confess that I should explore his vocal&choral music more: it seems very promissing: songs, motets, cantatas, oratorios (paulus & elijah).

RE: Mendelssohn symphonies

I fully second 78RPM for the String Symphonies: Youthful but bold and well crafted works that can stand along with great works of other composers. Brilliant and very exciting writing for the Strings.

His Violin Concerto is a "must" for players and listeners alike as well as his two marvellous Piano Concertos. We should not neglect the most brilliant Octet (in E flat) for Strings and the unusual String Sextet (in D) for Piano and String Quintet with Double Bass! Above all, don't miss his superb, in every respect, two String Quintets (in B flat and in A major).

Like many truly great composers, even his "minor works" are interesting and very fine for listening, like his early Piano Concerto in a minor or the Double Concerto for Piano, Violin and Strings in g minor or his very youthful Piano Quartets.

A great composer altogether!

Parla

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