A brilliant and unique idea, this disc brings together four arrangements of orchestral works by Felix Mendelssohn for violin, cello, and four-hand piano: his Symphonies No. 1 and No. 4, plus his Ruy Blas and The Hebrides overtures. Although only the First Symphony is arranged by the composer himself, the whole disc is filled with well-crafted transcriptions -- and with delightful and persuasive performances. The quartet of players, pianists Gerald Fauth and Olga Gollej, plus violinist Andreas Seidel, and cellist Matthias Moosdorf from the Leipziger Streichquartett, performs with the ideal balance between formal objectivity and passionate expressivity that is the hallmark of all great Mendelssohn interpreters. With a strong but supply ensemble, a rich but cleanly articulated tone, and a elegant but driving sense of tempo, the quartet plays the pieces not as if they are mere arrangements, but as if they were fully worthy masterpieces in their own right. Captured in Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm's clean, immediate sound, these performances will charm anyone sympathetic to the early German Romantic composer.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Symphony No. 5 in D major/D minor ("Reformation"), Op. 107|
|Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 11|