"…The sound has remarkable little tape hiss, and is typical of the Boston recordings from this source. The strings are warm and solid, the brass not as piercing and obviously virtuostic as at Chicago, the stereo spread rather wide but without a hole in the middle, the orchestra bathed in a lush but not overresonant acoustic." ~sa-cd.net
"…I don't care how many versions of these concerti you have…If you don't have a Heifetz recording you are missing out, and this SACD is the one to have. Go buy it now." ~sa-cd.net
‘Mendelssohn in Birmingham’ is an exciting new recording project with the CBSO and its Principal Guest Conductor, Edward Gardner. It celebrates Mendelssohn’s special relationship with the city’s Town Hall and will feature the complete symphonies recorded there. It was a venue much loved by Mendelssohn and saw him conduct many of his own works there, including premieres. ‘Mendelssohn in Birmingham’ also encompasses a major concert series at the Town Hall which will run alongside these recordings.
This packed four cd set is a bargain in quantity and quality. Dohnanyi can be great, as in his Decca Mozart
symphonies 35-41, wind concerti and sinfonia concertnte k364 et al. I heard him live once with the Boston SO: a supremely dramatic and large-scaled Schubert Unfinished and a terrific Brahms Violin Concerto with Frank Peter Zimmermann.
I can't think of any professional performer who wouldn't be glad to claim Graffman's tremendously solid, albeit simpler pianism. Indeed, Graffman's sense of forward sweep and sustaining power within long, introspective passages score over what Van Cliburn halfheartedly delivered in his own recording with the Boston Symphony a few years later…Reissued through Arkivmusic.com's "on demand" program, this disc is well worth hearing. -Jed Distler; classicstoday.com
Although apart from Nos. 3 and 4 Mendelssohn’s Symphonies turn up surprisingly rarely in concert programmes there are now many complete recordings from which the collector can choose. For anyone with a special interest in the composer the chance to compare the approaches of, say, Karajan, Abbado, Sawallisch and Masur may well be irresistible, and when versions by other distinguished conductors who have recorded only individual Symphonies, including Toscanini, Norrington and Gardiner, are added the choices seem endless.