Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor; Symphony No. 3 in A minor (Scottish); The Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave)

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COMPOSERS: Mendelssohn
LABELS: Philips Solo
WORKS: Violin Concerto in E minor; Symphony No. 3 in A minor (Scottish); The Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave)
PERFORMER: Henryk Szeryng (violin)Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, LPO/Bernard Haitink
CATALOGUE NO: 442 661-2 ADD (1974/79)
Szeryng’s 1974 version of the Mendelssohn Concerto is disappointing; intonation fluctuates alarmingly, and the opening Allegro lacks propulsive urgency, despite sensitive accompaniment from Haitink and the Concertgebouw. The Andante is thoughtfully paced, although the finale needs both momentum and jubilance. Bernard Haitink’s advocacy of the works which together formed Mendelssohn’s musical travelogue of 1829 is impressively thorough. The Hebrides Overture’s sombre depiction of the granite-encompassed Isle of Staffa, complete with mandatory storm, is bracingly robust, whilst Haitink’s tautly pictorial, yet engagingly affectionate reading of the Scottish Symphony, also with the LPO, makes a welcome return to the catalogue.Worth sampling, despite Szeryng’s lacklustre account of the concerto. Michael Jameson

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