Mendelssohn. Symphony No.2. Bavarian Radio So/hera
Label: harmonia mundi
Catalog: HMC 902151
Christiane Karg (soprano), Christina Landshamer (soprano), Michael Schade (tenor), Bavarian Radio Choir, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Pablo Heras-Casado
Composed by: Mendelssohn: Symphony No.2
Named 2014 Conductor of the Year by Musical America, Pablo Heras-Casado has made his name exploring repertoire that is outside of the mainstream. For his second recording on the harmonia mundi label, Heras-Casado conducts Mendelssohn's Symphony No.2, nicknamed Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise). Commissioned to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the invention of the printing press, the work is a massive symphony-cantata for soloists, chorus and orchestra. Although clearly inspired by Beethoven's ninth, the comparison did the work no favors with critics of the time and eventually it fell into an unjust obscurity. The symphony consists of a three-movement instrumental 'overture' followed by ten movements for orchestra, soloists and choir set to texts from the Lutheran bible. Joined by sopranos Christiane Karg and Christina Landshamer and tenor Michael Schade, Heras-Casado leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir in a powerful performance of this sweeping vocal and choral epic.