Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A minor (Scottish); Symphony No. 4 in A (Italian); The Hebrides Overture

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COMPOSERS: Mendelssohn
LABELS: DG Originals
WORKS: Symphony No. 3 in A minor (Scottish); Symphony No. 4 in A (Italian); The Hebrides Overture
PERFORMER: Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan
CATALOGUE NO: 449 743-2 ADD 1971/73
Karajan’s Scottish Symphony is so plausible that criticism may seem pedantic. It is a performance with many beautiful things, but lacking a distinct character: a computer, albeit a very sophisticated and tasteful one, might have generated it. The Italian Symphony supplies the missing ingredient: the human factor. Bows reassuringly slap on strings in a rattling opening movement. An unusually slow third movement deftly alters the balance of the Symphony in a performance which ranks with the best. Christopher Wood

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