DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Mendelssohn In Birmingham Makes You Wonder Who He Really Was

By Norman Lebrecht on June 14, 2019

Mendelssohn in Birmingham, vol. 5 (Chandos)

★★★☆☆
🎧 Amazon

This really useful series has reached a clutch of shorter pieces, all of them offering fresh insights into the life and mind of the travelling composer-conductor. In the overture to St Paul, Mendelssohn plays parlour games with the founder of his faith. The trumpet overture, opus 101, is quite literally a blast and the overture to Athalie has real novelty value.

The truth is that, two centuries on, we still have no idea who Mendelssohn was. He is so adept at presenting ideas in a patina of respectability that we are left wondering if this man knew any passion in his life, if he ever permitted himself to go naked. Edward Gardner brings warmth to these interpretations and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra play them as local heritage, which some absolutely are.

I’m inclined to think that Mendelssohn, in common with today’s air-miles musicians, loses much of himself on the road, never settling long enough to form meaningful relationships outside of his immediate family. But his best works are the travel pieces — the Hebrides Overture, and Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage — short, sharp, Sunday-magazine length pieces. The depth lies elsewhere and it’s not easy to find.

To read more from Norman Lebrecht, follow him on Slippedisc.com.

LUDWIG VAN TORONTO

Want more updates on classical music and opera news and reviews? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for all the latest.

Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.

Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

SCRUTINY | Xiao Nan Yu's Farewell Performance In "The Merry Widow" A Must See

By Paula Citron on June 20, 2019

Xiao Nan Yu is ending her glittering twenty-two-year career as Principal dancer with the National Ballet in the manner she so richly deserves.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

FEATURE | Music And The Happiness Curve — Slapping The Djembe At The RCM Wide Open House

By Robin Roger on June 27, 2019

At this year’s Royal Conservatory Wide Open House Ludwig Van's Robin Roger puts her learning to the test by signing up for demo classes in instruments she doesn't play.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

REPORT | Study Shows Classical Music Streaming Soaring In Popularity

By Anya Wassenberg on June 24, 2019

Did you know that classical music is the fourth most popular genre among music consumers? Or that it numbers more fans worldwide than R&B or hip hop?
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.