American Record Guide
, May 2010
While listening to these works I was often reminded of the effect many of Haydn’s symphonies have on me. There’s an intellectual appeal, but, more important, there’s an emotional one of sheer delight created not by the composer’s mere cleverness but by his playfulness, energy, and brightness—it’s like when you’re feeling discouraged or depressed, and your favorite bright-eyed pet leaps on your chest, nuzzles you, and says, “How ‘bout some action?”, drawing you completely out of yourself. (This happens here even in fugues!)
Such are the sheer vigor, counterpoint, incredibly inventive harmonic movement, and spiky contrasts Mendelssohn employs in these works.
Warm, balanced, embracing engineering captures both the loudest and softest passages so well that you can set the volume and forget it. If you’ve never encountered these works before, I can’t think of a better way to do it.
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