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Superb playing of Mendelssohn in the city that gave him a special reception. Classic FM Drive Featured Album, 8 September 2014.
Edward Gardner returns to conduct the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham Town Hall for the second volume of their series exploring the connections between Felix Mendelssohn and the city. The composer enjoyed a brilliant reception in Birmingham where he conducted many of his own works, including premières that were received with great admiration and appreciation.
This recording gathers Mendelssohn's first and third symphonies, and the overture Ruy Blas, based on a Victor Hugo drama which Mendelssohn loathed. Following on the huge success of Volume One in this series, these are energetic and dramatic performances with Gardner and the orchestra proving themselves sympathetic and attentive to Mendelssohn's intentions.
And, as before, the album cover reproduces a pen and ink sketch of Birmingham made by the composer himself.