Album Review: CBSO, Edward Gardner – ‘Mendelssohn in Birmingham’

February 17, 2014 Updated: February 17, 2014

This is a technically excellent recording of three of Mendelssohn’s major orchestral masterpieces all composed unbelievably in his early 20s. The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra give a wonderfully lively account of the Hebrides overture, conjuring up the power of the sea with remarkable realism inspired by a voyage he undertook in choppy seas in 1829. There follows a beautifully balanced and sensitive account of the ‘Reformation’ symphony composed for Luther’s 300th anniversary. Hymn singers will recognise the melody of ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God’. Finally a splendid interpretation of the ‘Italian’ symphony catches superbly the Latin spirit.

5 stars