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SACD Review

Felix Mendelssohn


  • Symphony #3 "Scottish", Op. 56
  • Symphony #4 "Italian", Op. 90 (2nd version 1833/4)
Musikkolegium Winterthur/Heinz Holliger
Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG9011663-6 68m Hybrid Multicahnnel SACD
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This intriguing coupling is mainly desirable for the alternative version of the Italian Symphony which to my mind has rarely received a recording. Heinz Holliger finds much colour and drive in the Scottish Symphony especially in the opening Andante con moto which has the Winterthur strings playing rather magically.

My favourite version of this symphony remains the one with Peter Maag and the London Symphony Orchestra which still sounds outstandingly fresh for 1960. Holliger finds similar verve in the Allegro vivacissimo which is replete with thrills and spills and to me this can be described as one of the finest versions around.

The Fourth has very little differences when compared to the original and they are mostly in the First movement. However Holliger is also a persuasive advocate of the music and finds much depth and mystery in the Andante con moto which is one of the finest parts of the work. MD&G's recording is excellent in all departments and with copious notes, the CD is highly recommended.

Copyright © 2011, Gerald Fenech