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CD Review

Felix Mendelssohn

Arts 43042
  • Die erste Walpurgisnacht Op. 60
  • Merestille und gluckliche Fahrt Op. 27
  • Ruy Blas Op. 95
  • Die schone Melusine Op. 32
  • Die Hebriden Op. 26
Juan Oncina, tenor
Robert Amis El Hage, bass
Giovanna Fioroni, mezzo-soprano
Coro e Orchestra Sinfonica RAI di Torino/Peter Maag
Arts Archives 43042-2 78m ADD
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Peter Maag is the trump card for the excellent Arts label with a host of recordings spanning almost the whole classical repertoire now available. His legendary recording of Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony on Decca is also one of the highlights of that company's discography so it is good to have this fine compilation of Mendelssohn works available from live tapings in Torino, Italy.

Maag directs an unfussy yet startlingly direct account of 'Die erste Walpurgisnacht'. The music flows along quite beautifully and the choral and solo singing parts are also very well done. I greatly enjoyed the overtures which are infused with a Beechamesque quality that makes them pretty hard to ignore. 'Merestille und gluckliche fahrt' is winningly done whilst I tend to prefer this account of 'The Hebrides' to the earlier one on Decca.

Arts provide fine remastering and an up to the minute recording that truly encompasses the spirit and joie de vivre of these performances. The notes also provide a thoughtful insight into Maag's love affair with Mendelssohn and this disc, well filled at almost 79 minutes, is definitely a must for lovers of romantic music.

Copyright © 2005, Gerald Fenech

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