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Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto No. 2 & 'Scottish' Symphony

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto No. 2 & 'Scottish' Symphony

...exceptionally beautiful
BKD 216 (Linn Records)
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Compact Disc

$16.00

Studio Master

FLAC 24bit 96kHz 1,387.3MB $19.20

Studio Master

ALAC 24bit 96kHz 1,428.2MB $19.20

CD Quality

FLAC 16bit 44.1kHz 289.5MB $10.40

CD Quality

ALAC 16bit 44.1kHz 298.1MB $10.40

MP3

MP3 320k 44.1kHz 164.8MB $8.80
Prices shown in US Dollars



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Tracks: Listen and Download

Format
Track Time Listen
1
Hebrides Overture, Op. 26

Hebrides Overture, Op. 26

Composer Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor Joseph Swensen
Band Scottish Chamber Orchestra
10:01 Play $5.10
2
Violin Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 64 - I. Allegro molto appassionato - Presto

Violin Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 64 - I. Allegro molto appassionato - Presto

Composer Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor Joseph Swensen
Soloist Joseph Swensen
Band Scottish Chamber Orchestra
13:25 Play $5.10
3
Violin Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 64 - II. Andante - Allegretto non troppo

Violin Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 64 - II. Andante - Allegretto non troppo

Composer Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor Joseph Swensen
Soloist Joseph Swensen
Band Scottish Chamber Orchestra
9:04 Play $3.40
4
Violin Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 64 - III. Allegro molto vivace

Violin Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 64 - III. Allegro molto vivace

Composer Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor Joseph Swensen
Soloist Joseph Swensen
Band Scottish Chamber Orchestra
5:57 Play $3.40
5
'Scottish' Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 - I. Andante con moto - Allegro un poco agitato

'Scottish' Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 - I. Andante con moto - Allegro un poco agitato

Composer Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor Joseph Swensen
Band Scottish Chamber Orchestra
12:07 Play $5.10
6
'Scottish' Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 - II. Vivace non troppo

'Scottish' Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 - II. Vivace non troppo

Composer Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor Joseph Swensen
Band Scottish Chamber Orchestra
4:13 Play $1.70
7
'Scottish' Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 - III. Adagio

'Scottish' Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 - III. Adagio

Composer Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor Joseph Swensen
Band Scottish Chamber Orchestra
8:21 Play $3.40
8
'Scottish' Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 - IV. Allegro vivacissimo - Allegro maestoso assai

'Scottish' Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 - IV. Allegro vivacissimo - Allegro maestoso assai

Composer Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor Joseph Swensen
Band Scottish Chamber Orchestra
8:51 Play $3.40
Total Running Time 72 minutes Purchase all tracks 
$10.40 
Prices shown in US Dollars

This exceptionally beautiful recording of some of Mendelssohn's loveliest music showcases Swensen's skills as a virtuoso violinist with playing of unusual grace.

Originally released in 2004, Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto No.2 has been re-issued as part of Linn's ECHO series which offers a second chance to enjoy the best of the label's award-winning catalogue.  

Download includes - cover art, inlay, booklet
Joseph Swensen

Joseph Swensen

Joseph Swensen was principal conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from 1996-2005.
profile & recordings >>
Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is one of Scotland’s foremost cultural ambassadors. The Linn series features performances conducted by Robin Ticciati, Alexander Janizcek, Joseph Swensen and Sir Charles Mackerras.
profile & recordings >>

'An exceptionally beautiful recording of Mendelssohn, with violinist Joseph Swensen...Lack[s] nothing in attack or passion but benefit[s] in clarity of detail from the chamber size of the ensemble and the superb recording standards befitting this label.' The Observer

Joseph Swensen director and violin
Dedicated to Dorothy Delay

Violin Concerto No. 2 & ‘Scottish' Symphony

Rather than being solely a composer, Felix Mendelssohn should be considered a polymath. He was educated and skilled in music, painting and drawing, languages, the classics, as well as being an accomplished sportsman, dancer and chess player. His musical accomplishments - of which composition was always the most important in his own eyes - also include performances as a virtuoso on the piano and organ, a gifted violinist, a conductor, and an administrator and editor who has left a legacy still respected and followed in the twenty-first century.

Born in Hamburg, 3 February 1809, Felix was the second child of Abraham and Lea Mendelssohn. Abraham was a successful banker in a firm he founded with his brother in Berlin, a city he and his family (including the children Fanny [born 1805], Felix and another daughter, Rebecka [born 1811]) returned to in July 1811. A fourth child, Paul, was born in 1812. The family were well-off, and the children well-educated. Felix and his sister Fanny received their initial musical education from their mother Lea and later, others were called in to help polish the two prodigies. During a visit to Paris in 1816-7 the children received piano lessons from Marie Bigot, a player who was admired by both Haydn and Beethoven. Later musical lessons came from Ludwig Berger and then, at the Berlin Singakademie, with Carl Friedrich Zelter. Zelter was himself schooled and taught using instruction from Kirnberger's Kunst des reinen Satzes in der Musik, written to disseminate the pedagogical method of J.S. Bach. Zelter probably commenced teaching the young Felix composition in mid-1819; his first datable composition was performed on 11 December 1819.

Family connections allowed much opportunity for the young Felix to meet and perform in front of leading European musicians including, at various times, Hummel, Spohr, Schelbe, Moscheles, Cherubini, Kreutzer and Rossini.

When still in his mid-teens, Felix was given a copy of J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion, a work which he revived in a celebrated performance at the Berlin Singakademie in March 1829, following years of preparation. By this time Felix was known as a gifted composer whose works were regularly being performed - his Midsummer Night's Dream was premiered in early 1827 at a concert which also included the composer playing one of the solo parts in his Double Piano Concerto in A-flat major. The earliest of his Lieder ohne Worte (Songs Without Words) was written, as a birthday present for his sister Fanny, in 1828.

1829 also saw Felix embark on what can best be described as a Grand Tour. Shortly after the performances of the St Matthew Passion, Felix left for Hamburg and, following a difficult crossing of the English Channel, arrived in London on 21 April. Initially remaining in London, often performing at private gatherings, Felix left London in late July to visit Scotland for a walking tour. It was at an assembly of bagpipe musicians at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, that the inspiration for the opening of the ‘Scottish' Symphony No. 3 came to him, and within two weeks he had the genesis of his ‘Hebrides Overture', which came to him while looking out at the Hebrides. A letter written to his family, dated 7 August 1829, includes the opening bars of the first theme in score. Although intimately connected with the work, it was not until the following day that Felix visited Fingal's Cave on the island of Staffa.

Despite being capable of writing quickly when it was required of him, Felix was at heart a constant reviser of his own works. The first draft of the ‘Hebrides Overture' was completed in Rome during a visit in the winter of 1830-1, but the work was not completed and performed until mid-1832. In the case of the ‘Scottish' Symphony, work was even slower with the piece not being completed and performed until 1842.

Part of the delay with the latter piece can be directly attributed to his other activities. From 1833, still in his early twenties, Mendelssohn held a series of musical posts, including those of Music Director in Du¨sseldorf and, from 1835, Musical Director in Leipzig, where his duties included conducting the Gewandhaus Orchestra. In 1838 he directed a series of four ‘historical concerts', featuring performances of music composed up to 100 years earlier. A similar series in 1841 featured five concerts, the first of which featured the music of J.S. Bach and Handel, and the last featuring music by contemporary composers. Although not the first to do so, Felix conducted with a baton, and it is here that the orchestral concert programme of today has its earliest foundations.

Felix's later life saw an increased workload with his time divided between a newly created, although undefined, post in Berlin, and his position in Leipzig. He was also involved in the creation of the Music Conservatory in Leipzig, heading a staff which included Robert Schumann, Ignaz Moscheles, Ferdinand David, Moritz Hauptmann and later Niels Gade. As his workload increased, so did his frustration at the lack of time available to pursue his favourite activity, composition. The ‘Scottish' Symphony was finished in January 1842 and received its premiere on 3 March of that year. However, the true compositional masterpiece of Felix's later years is his Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, written for Ferdinand David, and premiered in Leipzig (conducted by Niels Gade) on 13 March 1845.

Felix never managed to free himself of other commitments; a commission from the London Handel Society to edit Israel in Egypt resulted in the first ‘modern published edition' with Felix clearly differentiating between Handel's written marks and his own suggestions. The following year his edition of Bach's organ works used similar practices. The depression, for that is what a modern physician may well call it, in his later years never escaped Felix. Whereas Mozart suffered poverty, Beethoven deafness and Schumann madness, Felix suffered as a result of his great success, something familiar to the people of the twenty-first century. He died, mere months after his beloved sister Fanny, following a stroke on 29 October 1847, aged only thirty-eight.

© D. Martin, 2002

Recording Information:
 

Recorded at Usher Hall, Edinburgh, UK from 1-3 July 2002 
Produced by Andrew Keener 
Engineered by Philip Hobbs & Calum Malcolm 
Post-production by Julia Thomas


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Classical Candor
'... the best sound yet afforded these works by anyone. The sound has depth and breadth, dimensionality, air, ambiance, you name it.'
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Audio & Video Lifestyle Australia
4 Stars
suberb sound quality
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Hi Fi +
a highly evocative interpretation
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The Sunday Herald
a performance of great charm and flexibility
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Audiophile Audition
[An] exceptionally beautiful new release
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08 September 2014 to 08 September 2014
England, London
Royal Albert Hall, London, England, United Kingdom
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Birthday Concert