Magazine article Gramophone

Mendelssohn: Symphonies-No 1

Magazine article Gramophone

Mendelssohn: Symphonies-No 1

Article excerpt


Symphonies--No 1, Op 11; No 3, 'Scottish', Op 56

Tonkunstler Orchestra, Lower Austria / Andres Orozco-Estrada

Oehms [F] OC898 (70' * DDD)

Recorded live at the Musikverein, Vienna

The last version of Mendelssohn's First that I listened to featured Thomas Fey and the Heidelberg Symphony (Hanssler), a rugged, high-energy affair, forcefully played and brilliantly recorded. Put on Andres Orozco-Estrada and the Tonkunstler-Orchester Niederosterreich straight afterwards and the energy level takes a noticeable dip, especially among the strings, where there's a noticeable lack of bite. Things improve considerably for the brief but beautiful Andante, where Orozco-Estrada chooses a marginally broader tempo than Fey's, tracing a shapely line for the opening string melody, encouraging the clarinets to confirm the mood with a mellifluous pooled tone then tracing the downward trajectory of the lower strings on their return, and so on. The Minuet is well paced but again softer-edged than I would have liked and the finale (a dead ringer for the finale of Mozart's big G minor) ambles along gracefully, though someone has thrown a bucket of water over the con fuoco element. …

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