Through his polished recordings for Coviello Classics, Marcus Bosch has significantly raised the profile of the Aachen Symphony Orchestra, and his recordings of Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem, Johannes Brahms' symphonies, choral works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and a critically acclaimed series of Anton Bruckner's symphonies have put these musicians squarely on the world stage. With this hybrid SACD recording of Felix Mendelssohn's earliest full-scale symphonies, Bosch continues his efforts to record the core repertoire in authoritative restorations and gives listeners a chance to hear the music in fresh and vital performances. Being youthful attempts to emulate Mozart, the Symphony No. 1 in C minor and the posthumously numbered Symphony No. 5 in D major, "Reformation" (heard here in its Urfassung version), are generally recognized as precocious but imperfect works and are not as popular as the Symphony No. 3 in A minor, "Scottish," or the Symphony No. 4 in A major, "Italian," (which were composed in reverse order, making the numbering of Mendelssohn's symphonies even more confusing). But they deserve attention for being steppingstones to the later masterpieces, and the vibrant live performances on this audiophile recording enhance their strong points. Recorded in the Eurogress Aachen convention center, this recording doesn't have the spectacular resonance and spaciousness of the orchestra's recordings in their customary venue, St. Nikolaus Church, but the sound is alive and remarkably free of audience noises, except for the applause at the end of each performance.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 11|
|Symphony No. 5 in D major (D minor), Op. 107 "Reformation Symphony"|