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Symphonies nos. 4 & 5
Felix Mendelssohn

Jan Willem de Vriend / The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra

Symphonies nos. 4 & 5

Price: € 12.95
Format: SACD hybrid
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917265828
Catnr: CC 72658
Release date: 07 November 2014
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917265828
Catalogue number
CC 72658
Release date
07 November 2014

""They seem so simple and quietly moving, but the power of music is also in the seemingly rolling obvious sovereignty that subtle takes obstacles."  "

Luister, 01-6-2015
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Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

There could barely be a greater contrast between Mendelssohn’s Italian and Reformation symphonies. The Italian: a fiery, vivacious Mendelssohn, a perfect illustration of his nervous and enthusiastic nature and a rousing romp through Italy. The Reformation: often solemn, with a clearly religious bias; a work that might even be referred to as a ‘monument’. But there is also a similarity. Mendelssohn never wanted either of these works to be published. Oddly enough, he was not satisfied with them. They came to be printed after the composer’s death. The composer’s symphonies are numbered according to their publication dates rather than chronologically by when they were written. ‘No. 4’, the Italian (written in 1833), was actually the third and ‘No. 5’, the Reformation (1830), the second.
The Italian is a real party piece. This was certainly the view following the work’s premiere in London on 13 May 1833, given by the Philharmonic Society. (Mendelssohn was highly acclaimed in London, where he had been commissioned to produce a new symphony).
The Reformation Symphony had its roots in quite different soil. In 1830, Germany was celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Confession of Augsburg. The Confession was a key document for Lutheranism, and its submission to Emperor Charles V in 1530 marked an enormous event for the Reformation, as Lutheranism became the official state religion. Mendelssohn wanted to make a contribution towards this national obeisance with a large-scale symphony. He incorporated two well-known Protestant melodies into the work.
De voltooiing van Jan Willem de Vriends cyclus van symfonieën van Mendelssohn
Dit album vormt de afsluiting van de cyclus van symfonieën van Mendelssohn, uitgevoerd door het Nederlands Symfonieorkest onder leiding van Jan Willem de Vriend. De Vriend begon in 2012 met de opnames voor deze driedelige serie.

Het album bevat twee met elkaar contrasterende symfonieën: de vierde en de vijfde. Deze symfonieën laten zien hoe veelzijdig Mendelssohn is. De Vierde Symfonie (de Italiaanse) is een feestelijk werk. Zo werd het in ieder geval opgevat tijdens de première in Londen op 13 mei 1833. Het werk laat de nerveuze en enthousiaste aard van Mendelssohn goed zien. De Vijfde Symfonie (de Reformatie) is plechtig, en geschreven ter gelegenheid van het 300-jarig jubileum van de belijdenis van Augsburg. Er zijn twee bekende Protestantse melodieën in de symfonie verwerkt: "Dresden Amen" en "Ein feste Burg".

De symfonieën hebben toch een ding met elkaar gemeen: Mendelssohn was zo ontevreden met deze werken dat hij ze niet wilde publiceren. Hij verborg de werken na hun premières in een la. De Vierde Symfonie werd pas vier jaar, en de Vijfde Symfonie zelfs 21 jaar na de dood van de componist gepubliceerd.
Mendelssohns Italienische Symphonie versprüht wahre Feierlaune - das war sicherlich die vorherrschende Stimmung nach der Premiere in London. Die Reformationssymphonie hingegen hat ihre Wurzeln in ganz anderem Boden. Im Jahre ihrer Komposition feierte Deutschland das 300. Jubiläum der Augsburger Konfession, und auch Mendelssohn wollte seiner Ehrerbietung Ausdruck verleihen. Er entwarf dafür diese großangelegte Symphonie und wob als persönliche Referent auch zwei bekannte, protestantische Melodien mit in das musikalische Gewebe hinein.

In dieser Aufnahme verbindet de Vriend zwei grundverschiedene Symphonien, doch gerade dieser Kontrast zeigt noch einmal Mendelssohns Vielseitigkeit auf und vervollständigt mit Nachdruck de Vriends Zyklus von Mendelssohn-Symphonien.

Artist(s)

Jan Willem de Vriend

Jan Willem de Vriend, designated “a godsend from the Netherlands” by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, is driven by the pioneering spirit of historically informed perfomance practice. As music director of the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, which he founded in 1982, he specialised in repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, reviving a wealth of rarely heard works through historically informed performances on modern instruments, praised by Gramophone magazine for their “technical finesse and a lively feeling for characterization”. An award-winner for his creative contribution to classical music, Jan Willem de Vriend has more than 50,000 followers on Spotify and is in demand as a conductor around the world, appearing regularly with such orchestras as the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest...
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Jan Willem de Vriend, designated “a godsend from the Netherlands” by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, is driven by the pioneering spirit of historically informed perfomance practice. As music director of the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, which he founded in 1982, he specialised in repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, reviving a wealth of rarely heard works through historically informed performances on modern instruments, praised by Gramophone magazine for their “technical finesse and a lively feeling for characterization”.
An award-winner for his creative contribution to classical music, Jan Willem de Vriend has more than 50,000 followers on Spotify and is in demand as a conductor around the world, appearing regularly with such orchestras as the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest Den Haag, Belgian National Orchestra, Tonhalle Zurich, Orchestre National de Lyon, Bergen Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, the symphony orchestras of Netherlands Radio and Hessischer Rundfunk (Frankfurt Radio Symphony), Melbourne Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic. He is Principal Conductor Designate of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Stuttgart Philharmonic and Orchestre National de Lille, and former Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya and the Brabant Orchestra.
For the Challenge Classics label, de Vriend and the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra have recorded the complete Mendelssohn symphonies and all Beethoven’s symphonies and concertos with, among others, pianist Hannes Minnaar and violinist Liza Ferschtman. De Vriend’s interpretation of the Symphony No 7 prompted Classic FM to admire “a bounding flair that does real justice to the composer’s capacity for joy”. A further landmark of his recorded catalogue is his complete recording of the Schubert symphonies with the Residentie Orkest Den Haag.
De Vriend’s collaborative spirit is equally evident in his work for the stage, notably with opera director Eva Buchmann and Combattimento Consort Amsterdam. In addition to works by Monteverdi, Haydn, Handel and Telemann, their productions in Europe and the USA have included staged versions of Bach’s ‘Hunting’ and ‘Coffee’ Cantatas at the Bachfest Leipzig, and operas by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi and Cherubini, among them Mozart’s Don Giovanni und Rossini’s La gazzetta, both toured in Switzerland. De Vriend has also conducted operatic productions in Amsterdam (with the Nederlandse Reisopera), Barcelona, Strasbourg, Lucerne, Schwetzingen and Bergen.

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The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra

The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra is based in Enschede, in the province of Overijssel. Performing at an international level, as evidenced by its highly acclaimed CDs and invitations for international tours, the orchestra is firmly rooted in society. Jan Willem de Vriend has been its artistic director and chief conductor since 2006. He will be succeeded by Ed Spanjaard in 2017. Under De Vriend’s leadership, the orchestra has expanded its repertoire to cover music from four centuries. Its use of period instruments in the Classical repertoire gives the orchestra a distinctive and highly individual character. The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra performs amongst others in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Enschede, Zwolle and Deventer. In addition, it has made successful tours of the United States, Spain and...
more
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra is based in Enschede, in the province of Overijssel. Performing at an international level, as evidenced by its highly acclaimed CDs and invitations for international tours, the orchestra is firmly rooted in society.
Jan Willem de Vriend has been its artistic director and chief conductor since 2006. He will be succeeded by Ed Spanjaard in 2017. Under De Vriend’s leadership, the orchestra has expanded its repertoire to cover music from four centuries. Its use of period instruments in the Classical repertoire gives the orchestra a distinctive and highly individual character.
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra performs amongst others in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Enschede, Zwolle and Deventer. In addition, it has made successful tours of the United States, Spain and England and it often works with the Dutch National Touring Opera Company. In its home town Enschede, the orchestra builds on a symphonic tradition of more than 80 years, and it is known as one of the most modern and entrepreneurial orchestras in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra created a number of ensembles, such as a chamber orchestra, the Baroque Academy of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (BANSO) and various chamber music ensembles. The orchestra’s commitment to expanding its social relevance is also reflected in the large number of projects in which education is a key element.
The orchestra has worked with distinguished conductors, such as its former chief conductor Jaap van Zweden, Vasily Petrenko, Edo de Waart, Claus Peter Flor and Tan Dun. It also has accompanied many celebrated soloists, including Gidon Kremer, Ronald Brautigam, Natalia Gutman, Charlotte Margiono, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Thomas Zehetmair.

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Composer(s)

Felix Mendelssohn

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. Mendelssohn is often compared to Mozart. Both of them were child prodigies, both had a talented sister and they both died at a young age. Mendelssohn, who as a child also painted wrote poetry, was born in small family which converted to christianity from judaism. As a composer he preferred looking back, rather than forward: his main examples were Bach, Handel and Mozart. It was Mendelssohn who retrieved Bach from oblivion and pushed for a revival of his music, which still lasts today. One century after its premier, Mendelsson performed the St Matthew Passion for the second...
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Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.

Mendelssohn is often compared to Mozart. Both of them were child prodigies, both had a talented sister and they both died at a young age. Mendelssohn, who as a child also painted wrote poetry, was born in small family which converted to christianity from judaism. As a composer he preferred looking back, rather than forward: his main examples were Bach, Handel and Mozart. It was Mendelssohn who retrieved Bach from oblivion and pushed for a revival of his music, which still lasts today. One century after its premier, Mendelsson performed the St Matthew Passion for the second time ever, in 1829.

Three years, earlier, on his 17th, he had already composed his masterfully overture A midsummer night's dream op. 21, based on Shakespeare's play. Today, it is still considered as one of the absolute masterpieces in all of the orchestra reperoire. His Violin Concerto op. 64 belongs to the most beautiful works of the 19th century as well. During his travels through Europe, he wrote his brilliant Italian Symphony, Scottish Symphony and the overture The Hebrides.

Although Mendelssohn had a prosperous career, his weak physique made him emotionally vulnerable. The death of his favourite sister Fanny became fatal: Mendelssohn died in the same year, at the age of 38.


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Press

"They seem so simple and quietly moving, but the power of music is also in the seemingly rolling obvious sovereignty that subtle takes obstacles."  
Luister, 01-6-2015

"If their is one wire through the rich musical life of Jan Willem de Vriend is it his enthusiasm." 
De Volkskrant, 15-5-2015

4**** ["].. Supported by alert orchestral playing, he reveals a style closer to Beethoven than is often the case in these two symphonies."
BBC Music Magazine, 01-4-2015

De Vriend's Mendelssohn is muscular and dynamic. 4 out of 5 stars
BBC Music Magazine, 30-3-2015

"Such a fresh breeze didn't sweep throug Mendelssohns "italian symphony" in a long time"
BR Klassik, 13-3-2015

"A special mention deserves the rich sound of the woodwinds that get an important place in the colourful whole."
Luister, 06-3-2015

"De Vriend and his orchestra present volume 3 with the symphonies of Mendelssohn, that already has reference status just as the complete Beethoven symphonies." "A fresh, dynamic and often surprising Mendelssohn." "Jan Willem de Vriend demolishes the image showing Mendelssohn as a nice and romantic composer with a flowery sound. His Mendelssohn is modern, dynamic virile and peppery." Highest ranking: 'Pizzicato Supersonic'
Pizzicato, 05-3-2015

["]...I concluded that, 'for a fresh immediate statement that compels one's attention from start to finish, I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed by this new release'."
Gramophone, 01-3-2015

"As well as with the Symphonies of Beethoven De Vriend has removed the dust from these works." "A splendid plea for this unjustly forgotten music."
Trouw, 06-2-2015

"A beautifull new conviction for this forgotten music"
Trouw, 01-1-1970

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Videos

Jan Willem de Vriend asks 'Where is Mendelssohn?'

Often bought together with..

Franz Schubert
The Complete Symphonies Vol. 2 Symphony No.1, D.82 / Symphony No.3 D.200 / Symphony No.8 D.759
Residentie Orkest The Hague / Jan Willem de Vriend
Felix Mendelssohn
Complete Symphonies vol. 2: Symphony nos.1 & 3
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra / Jan Willem de Vriend
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphonies nos. 7 & 8 (Complete symphonies vol. 3)
Jan Willem de Vriend / The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphonies nos. 4 & 6 (Complete Symphonies vol.1)
Jan Willem de Vriend / The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra

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