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Mendelssohn Felix: Overtures

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Product Description

--This text refers to the LP Record edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A very good collection July 15 1999
By F. Behrens - Published on
Format: Audio CD
More often than not, the very tuneful and enjoyable Overtures of Felix Mendelssohn are used as fillers for his symphonic works that do not take up a fill disc. Now and then they also show up in a collection of Best or Favorite or Popular overtures; and very seldom on an offering of their own. Well, Capriccio has released a set of 8 <Overtüren> (10 708) played--surprisingly enough for this label--by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields under the baton of Neville Marriner. Here are the composer's "Trumpet Overture" [written at age 16!], the overtures to "Paul," "Ruy Blas," "Homecoming from Afar," "The Marriage of Comacho," "The Fair Melusine," "Still Sea and Fortunate Voyage," and "Overture for Wind Band Music." (No, not the thrice popular "Midsummer Night's Dream" or the turbulent and my personal favorite "The Hebrides.") This set is most welcome for the less frequently played pieces and I can recommend it highly not only for lovers of the Romantic period in musical history but for any one who likes good lively melodies that do not pretend to be anything deeper than they are. The notes are in the usual three languages and tersely informative. My thanks to Capriccio for this offering.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A painter in music! May 25 2007
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Many people around the world tend to forget the egregious importance and striking influence of Carl Maria von Weber in this decisive historic period. His musical palette is filled of lightness, brilliant colorfulness, audacious harmonies, surprising melodic twists and conspicuous elegance.

To deny this musician influenced on Berlioz, Mendelssohn and Schubert would be a true falseness. You may feel how in his music breaths that joy de vivre and incommensurable cheerfulness radiant of optimism and innocent vitality. He was indeed the perfect link between Mozart and Gluck and the raising romantic tradition.

This set of brilliant performances show us the previous statement. Scherchen is amazing with Jubel,Preciosa,Oberon Abu Hassan andpeter Schmoll Overtures,combining simultaneously brightness and ferocious;charm and flaming lyricism. With this recording you should include too, three formidable conductors relatively neglected by the great audiences by unknown reasons. Ernest Ansermet ( with the Suisse Romande), and Rafael Kubelik, who dedicated part of their priceless time to record and diffuse the music of this underrated composer.

You may argue an absolute lack of profundity, specially in what concerns to piano concertos, for instance, but step to step you should realize the narrow neareness between him and his Italian contemporary, the great Rossini.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful stereo sound, rich and full! March 11 2014
By Alan Majeska - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bruno Walter (1876-1962) was known for his Wagner recordings in Germany in the 1920s and 30s before he moved to France, and then New York City, fleeing the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich (1933-1945). Fortuneately, Columbia records had him record some Wagner Overtures and Preludes with the Los Angeles based Columbia Symphony Orchestra, consisting of some Los Angeles Philharmonic players, and musicians from some Hollywood studios combined with some free-lance players.

Columbia's sound is excellent, very rich and full bass, if a bit harsh at the beginning of the "Flying Dutchman" Overture, but this is nit-picking.

Either this 1980s CBS CD release or the 1995 "Bruno Walter Edition" from Sony Classsical is recommendable.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
excellent semi- neglected Mendelssohn Overtures Aug. 15 2012
By Kirk List - Published on
I would guess that the target audience includes those less likely to own four of these overtures/preludes: Son and Stranger; Wedding of Camacho; Trumpet Overture; Paulus. The Abbado four cd Symphony set, which I haven't heard, omits Camacho, Paulus, and Son and Stranger but includes the Overture for Winds, MN Dream, and Hebrides. Dohnanyi includes the Overture and War March from Athalie in his group of four in his 4 cd Symphonies set (see my review). So the total appears to be: Paulus, Winds, Son and Stranger, Camacho , Athalie, Trumpet, Ruy Blas, Fair Melusine, Calm Seas, MN Dream, and Hebrides. Any additional Overtures?

This Marriner set is superb. The reduced orchestra provides welcome clarity and the four least played are worth hearing, especially Son and Stranger ( also recorded by Peter Maag) and Camacho. Ruy Blas, Fair Melusine, and Calm Seas are spirited, beautiful and (especially the Ruy Blas) powerful. Excepting the seven overtures on the Abbado set (on its way), here are some recommendations

Marriner: the seven overtures above
Maag: Hebrides, MN Dream, Calm Sea, Fair Melusina, Son and Stranger
Dohnanyi: Hebrides, MN Dream, Calm Sea, Athalie
Haitink: Hebrides, MN Dream, Calm Sea
Szell: Hebrides, MN Dream
Klemperer: Hebrides, MN Dream
Chmura: Ruy Blas, Fair Melusina, Calm Sea, Hebrides, MN Dream
Sawallisch: Ruy Blas
Schuricht: Ruy Blas, Fair Melusina
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Weber's better known and lesser known overtures Aug. 10 2003
By Stephen J. Swellander - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This CD has grown on me since I first listened to it. The current catalog of recordings of Weber overtures is unaccountably sparse, though some great performances have been recorded in the past: especially Karajan and Kubelik, both deleted now.
When I first listened to Lawrence Foster's present recording, I was listening for big, robust romantic performances like the old Karajan renditions on DG. Foster disappointed me a bit at first, but these recordings have also lived well with me upon repeated listenings. Foster's Weber is closer to Mozart, more lean and classical--but clean and insightful. The soundstage (Dudley Town Hall) sounds less spacious than a big concert hall, but that has its advantages, especially in the detail Foster coaxes from the excellent Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
The two leading contenders in this repertoire that I'm aware of are Roy Goodman and the Hanover Band on Nimbus playing period instruments in energetic performances at the exceptionally reverberant All Saints Church in Tooting and Neeme Jarvi on Chandos (which I haven't heard). Goodman's disc is wonderful, but the cavernous sound might annoy some listeners--though to my ears plenty of instrumental detail still shines through.
Foster's disc is particularly appealing because of the lesser known overtures he includes, like "Jubel," "Turandot" (featured prominently in Hindemith's Weber Variations) and Felix Weingartner's orchestration of "Invitiation to the Dance."
On the balance, this is an excellent addition to anyone's collection of Weber orchestral music. Even if you already have a collection of his overtures, you probably don't have everything that is included on this disc.
Now. . .if someone would please reissue Karajan and Kubelik. In this era of downloadable music, there is no reason not to make them available in some sort of format.