[ LSO Live SACD + BLU-RAY / 2 Hybrid SACD/DVD ]
Release Date: Monday 10 November 2014
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LSO Live presents the first in a series exploring the complete symphonies of Felix Mendelssohn under the baton of Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Also featured on this release is the eminent Portuguese pianist, Maria João Pires, in the inaugural concerto recording on the label.
Inspired by his travels to the British Isles and full of the influence of the rolling Scottish landscape, both Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3 'Scottish' and his Hebrides Overture ('Fingal's Cave') are amongst the composer's most popular and celebrated works.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner writes of this coupling: "Even if they spoke with different accents these genial Romantics were united in their ambitious fervour for 'abstract' music to be acknowledged as having the same expressive force as poetry, drama or the literary novel. The three works on this album exemplify the endeavour and range of invention of two of them, friends and colleagues in Leipzig."
This recording will be released in both SACD and pure audio Blu-ray formats, allowing both the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir John Eliot's performance to be seen and heard to full effect.
DSD recording, live at the Barbican, 21st January 2014
Video/ audio 2.0 Stereo and multi-channel (5.0)
Audio + bonus video material/digital (Blu-ray video of the entire concert plus Pires's encore).
"This was the London Symphony Orchestra; but, with violins and violas standing and with a new suppleness and brilliance in their voice, they sounded Romantic and revolutionary. There was a brisk stepping-out, a bracing scent of the tangle o' the isles, and tiny, drawn-back moments to glimpse the Romantic sublime." The Times****
"The opening of the Intermezzo was supremely graceful with Pires and the LSO's cellos creating a chamber music intimacy in the ensuing dialogue. The cultivated way in which Pires and the LSO took up and finished phrases was masterful. The finale was a whirling dance with Pires really revving up the momentum while at the same time bringing out the fanciful elements in the score. The coda was played with gusto, bringing the piece to a sparkling conclusion." Seen and Heard
"John Eliot Gardiner, who has continually confounded expectations whether in ancient music, Bach, or even the Schubert 9th, coupled with a rejuvenated LSO that has never played better in its history than now, in some perfectly early great Romantic music. To top it off, a wonderful package, with Blu-ray audio, video, SACD, each in surround sound and stereo. The playing is the absolute tops, crisp, clear, with lots of depth and richness of bass" (AudAud Nov 2014)
"a reading formed by life experience…Pires is supported by conductor and orchestra magnificently...I've never heard so much of the orchestral colour and detail in any other Schumann recording … My anticipation that this might be a special recording has been met." (MusicWeb Oct 2014)
"Gardiner's Hebrides Overture must be one of the most thrilling ever recorded, adding volleys of sea-spray to well-navigated execution...Ebb and flow is of the essence in this proto-Wagnerian masterpiece and a subtle use of vibrato...Gardiner makes a beeline for individual instrumental details, keeping important woodwind lines to the fore." Gramophone Editor's Choice January 2015
"this 'Scottish' symphony is fresh, vital and even thrilling (a word that doesn't always come up in discussions of Mendelssohn) as any I've ever heard…at its best it is so good that it can be recommended without hesitation." International Record Review
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 'Scottish'
Hebrides Overture, Op. 26
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
Maria João Pires (piano)