Mendelssohn - Symphonies Nos 4 & 5
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Label: Challenge Classics
Cat No: CC72658
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 24th November 2014
WorksSymphony no.4 in A major, op.90 'Italian'
Symphony no.5 in D major, op.107 'Reformation'
ArtistsNetherlands Symphony Orchestra
ConductorJan Willem de Vriend
This hybrid SACD is the third and last in a series of recordings by the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jan Willem de Vriend to feature all the five mature symphonies of Felix Mendelssohn.
Felix Mendelssohnís symphonies are numbered according to the time of their publication rather than the dates when they were written. No.4, 'The Italian', which was written in 1833 is actually the third, whilst No.5, 'The Reformation', was written in 1830 and the second in terms of composition. In fact Mendelssohn never wanted these works to be published at all as, being a perfectionist, he continually revised his work and was not satisfied with either of them. They were not published until after his death. The premiere of the 4th took place in London on 13 May 1833 and was given by the Philharmonic Society.
The 5th Symphony was composed around the time of the 300th anniversary of the Confession of Augsburg, a key document of the reformation movement. Mendelssohn wanted to make a contribution towards this national event and incorporated two well-known Protestant melodies into the work.
Jan Willem de Vriend has been the chief conductor and artistic director of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra since 2006. Over the last eight years this musical combination has developed a formidable reputation on the Dutch and International music scene. It has become particularly notable for its use of period instruments in the brass section, and has consequently developed its own distinctive sound as regards 18th and 19th century repertoire. De Vriend has also been a guest conductor with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
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