Magazine article Gramophone

Mendelssohn Bargain

Magazine article Gramophone

Mendelssohn Bargain

Article excerpt

Another RCA set is devoted to recordings of Mendelssohn orchestral music that Claus Peter Flor made with the Bamberg SO back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Six extremely well-filled discs cover the numbered symphonies, the major overtures, the solo concertos (violin--both the much-loved E minor and the early D minor with strings--with Kyoko Takezawa and piano with Sergei Edelmann), Die erste Walpurgisnacht, A Midsummer Night's Dream and, most valuable perhaps, an imaginatively orchestrated sequence of songs 'with' and 'without' words, Leise zieht durch mein Gemuth, arranged by Siegfried Matthus and featuring the bright, lyric tenor voice of Deon van der Walt. Quite magical!

Flor's way with Mendelssohn is fairly soft-grained, an impression supported by pleasantly mellifluous if rather muted sound. This works best in the heartwarming Adagio religioso slow movement of the Second Symphony, Hymn of Praise, but come the transition to the huge choral finale, and the cry 'Everything that has breath praise the Lord' (sung in German) and there's a conspicuous lack of impact. On the other hand Flor is at great pains to have his violins play very softly in the Midsummer Night's Dream Overture; the Scherzo is appealingly relaxed and we have the beautiful voice of Lucia Popp in 'Ye spotted snakes'. …

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