Mendelssohn: Symphony No.2 (SACD + Blu-ray Audio)

LSO Live
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London Symphony Orchestra, Monteverdi Choir, Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Lucy Crowe (soprano), Jurgita Adamonyté (mezzo), Michael Spyres (tenor)

London Symphony Orchestra, Monteverdi Choir, Sir John Eliot Gardiner

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Bringing his acclaimed Mendelssohn cycle to a rousing conclusion, Sir John Eliot Gardiner presents the composer’s symphony-cantata, 'Lobgesang', in his first ever performance of the work. Three world-class soloists join the LSO and his own Monteverdi Choir for this recording for LSO Live. Mendelssohn wrote that the piece "lies very near my heart", and with its stately grandeur and religiosity, plus its sheer magnitude, twice the length of any of his other symphonies, it stands amongst his most impressive works. Posthumously categorised by editors as his second symphony, it is also known as ‘Hymn of Praise’.

In an interview for The aArts Desk, John Eliot said: "It’s a piece I’ve been looking at for years, and I’ve never conducted it. I was a bit sceptical at first, thinking that it was the torso of a symphony with a cantata bolted on. But it isn’t. It’s a delight. It has a lot of the inventiveness and sheer melodic flow of the young Mendelssohn and it’s perfectly calibrated and constructed."

Presented as a Pure Audio Blu-ray and SACD Hybrid package - which includes master quality audio and downloadable content - this is the perfect end to Gardiner's exploration of Mendelssohn. Summing up his feelings at the end of the project, he said: "My admiration for Mendelssohn has gone up enormously, as a result of really digging deep into these’s so rewarding with this group of players, they’re willing to go to the nth degree, in terms of detail of phrasing and articulation, and that’s a joy."

Concert reviews:

"Gardiner brought his LSO Mendelssohn series to a rousing conclusion...performed with enormous conviction and swagger, delivering old certainties of sacred and secular pride in a way to make your eyes prick." Classical Source

"His [Michael Spyres's] German diction was furthermore crystal clear. Soprano Lucy Crowe gleamed in the middle passage...while mezzo Jurgita Adamonyté’s voice effused a luminous quality." Bachtrack