Nicholas Ward and the Northern Chamber Orchestra match rivals at whatever price. The freshness and incisiveness of the performances are enhanced by bright, clean recording, made in the Concert Hall of Broadcasting House in Manchester. Not only does Ward bright out the exhilarating sparkle and vigour of the fast movements—with Mendelssohn, even at the age of 11, giving clear anticipations of his mature style—but he also gives apt emotional weight to such beautiful lyrical movements as the Andante of No. 2 or the darkly slow introduction to the one-movement No. 10 in B minor. All three discs can be warmly recommended to everyone.
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