Saturday, March 17, 2012

The sound of the sea

Felix Mendelssohn was very much influenced by his environment or so it seems from the names he gave to some of his compositions: Hebridean Overture, Italian symphony, Scottish symphony. The Italian symphony is perhaps his best known symphony. It reminds me of Beethoven's pastoral symphony and is a bit too 'classical' for my taste and for me not particularly evocative of Italy but very good for all that.

The Hebridean overture or Fingal's cave to give it it's other name is a very different kettle of fish. There can be no mistaking the sound of the sea lapping against the walls of the basalt cave off Staffa. Altogether more romantic it counted Wagner among it's admirers.

For just short of £26 the 4 CD boxed set of 5 symphonies and 7 overtures recorded by the LSO with Claudio Abbado for Deutsche Grammophon provides a great introduction to Mendelssohn.

No comments:

Post a Comment