Australian Chamber Orchestra - Mendelssohn

25 March 2013, 14:29 | Updated: 25 March 2013, 14:33

Mendelssohn's chamber music meets its match in this vibrant album from the Australian Chamber Orchestra, with Richard Tognetti on lead violin and Polina Leschenko on piano. Drive Featured Album, 25 March 2013.

Thanks to Mendelssohn's interlocking string textures, delightful exchanges between viola and cello, and cheery conversations between the violins, this album is blessed with an overwhelming sense of fun in the fast movements, and a sense of intimacy in the slow. His famous Octet in E flat fuses the best elements of a string quartet and a symphony - listen to the spiky, vibrant Scherzo, where each individual instrumental solo jumps out of the texture.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra capture the sense of drama in Mendelssohn's drawn-out phrases, but there's a sense of energy bubbling under the surface in even the slowest passages of music. The Concerto for Violin and Piano, written when Mendelssohn was only 14, is dazzlingly exciting, and though the tune might not be the most creative of the composer's output, it's brought into its own by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, who catch you unawares with their relentless sense of excitement in every tiny detail from the piano and violin.