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The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish (Read 1137 times)

Offline goldentone

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The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish
« on: September 14, 2015, 06:53:32 PM »
I fell in love with this symphony close to 20 years ago, and in recent years have become aware of its brilliance.  The layers and counterpoint, the orchestral depth, the romance and passion, are something for the ear to behold.  In comparison, I believe he far surpasses Schumann's symphonic writing, which appears threadbare.  The Scherzo is sheer exhilaration.  If there were a perfect movement written, that would be one.  The entire symphony fits perfectly, better than Beethoven's 3rd in my opinion.

Because of its genius and multifarious workmanship, the Scottish deserves to be on the Top 10 "List" of Symphonies.  The Scottish turns out to be the last symphony he wrote, and so in the actual chronology of composition, 1, 5, 4, 2, 3, we can see what we were cheated in his evolution at his early death.

Any who agree, feel free to share your thoughts.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

Offline mjames

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Re: The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish
«Reply #1 on: September 14, 2015, 07:19:10 PM »
A great work no doubt I agree with you on that, but why is it that at the end we all have to assign a "top 10" list? Ones of your favorites, sure. His symphonies imo don't even come close his motets and other religious works, let alone my top 10 symphony list...if I had one.

Offline goldentone

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Re: The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish
«Reply #2 on: September 15, 2015, 07:49:38 PM »
My real point is that the Scottish is peer among the very best symphonies, and I don't know if its stature has been recognized.  Thanks for sharing.   
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

Offline mjames

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Re: The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish
«Reply #3 on: September 15, 2015, 09:16:16 PM »
Sure ok.

I get your point though. Among the "big" composers Mendelssohn's music is often ignored. There's so much beauty in his ouvre that's overlooked. Imo I don't think the 3rd symphony as one of the overlooked works, from what i see it seems to get the recognition and performances it deserves.

Offline cbreemer

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Re: The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish
«Reply #4 on: September 16, 2015, 06:34:56 AM »
I'm not an unequivocal Mendelssohn lover but I fully agree on the Scottish being among his best works, and a great symphony in its own right. Of course there's the Italian, the violin concerto, the overtures and the Midsummer Night's dream, all pure genius. His piano works I hardly care for.

Offline diomedes

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Re: The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish
«Reply #5 on: September 16, 2015, 10:48:52 AM »
I don't know the symphonies of Mendelssohn well, but it's interesting too see one being commented on like this. My loyalty always will be with Bruckner, and after that it's always been either Schubert or Mahler, or even Shostakovich but that's of a different breed altogether, but those are the inclinations. That said I've always meant to familiarize myself with the Mendelssohn ones, so I'll give the Scottish a good listen.

Incidentally, as far as Mendelssohn and piano music is concerned, I can't comment heavily beyond pointing out the variations sÚrieuses are truly music worth anyone's time, so if you dislike his piano music Its likely you overlooked those. I'd suggest looking at them.
Beethoven-Alkan, concerto 3
Faure barcarolle 10
Mozart-Stradal, symphony 40

Offline mjames

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Re: The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish
«Reply #6 on: September 16, 2015, 10:53:16 AM »
^Agreed

Not only his variations, but the scottish fantasy, his prelude and fugues are awesome!





Quite a bunch of his song without words are also very nice. Its quite saddening that there arent any transcriptions of his organ works...is especially his organ P&F set, and the sonatas.. :(

Offline cbreemer

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Re: The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish
«Reply #7 on: September 16, 2015, 11:15:03 AM »
Incidentally, as far as Mendelssohn and piano music is concerned, I can't comment heavily beyond pointing out the variations sÚrieuses are truly music worth anyone's time, so if you dislike his piano music Its likely you overlooked those.
No, I didn't. I love and know well the Variations and the Rondo Capriccioso. Some of the Songs Without Words and Preludes and Fugues are nice too. Actually I should not claim to dislike his piano music. However some of it of the note-spinning variety, especially the concerti, just annoys and/or bores me.

Offline goldentone

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Re: The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish
«Reply #8 on: September 19, 2015, 08:42:18 PM »
No, I didn't. I love and know well the Variations and the Rondo Capriccioso. Some of the Songs Without Words and Preludes and Fugues are nice too. Actually I should not claim to dislike his piano music. However some of it of the note-spinning variety, especially the concerti, just annoys and/or bores me.

Yeah, the concerti are really concertoettes with flair but not substance.  But to be fair, I believe these were written when he was young.  He may not have been ready yet for the larger forms.  He certainly rounded out in later years in the symphonies. 
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

Offline cbreemer

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Re: The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish
«Reply #9 on: September 19, 2015, 09:02:02 PM »
Yeah, the concerti are really concertoettes with flair but not substance.  But to be fair, I believe these were written when he was young.  He may not have been ready yet for the larger forms.  He certainly rounded out in later years in the symphonies. 
I was quite ready to believe this ;) But on Wikipedia I read that his two piano concerti date from 1831 (contemporary with the Italian Symphony) and 1837 (contemporary with
the Paulus oratorium). Such trifling fluff amidst profound masterpieces. And to think
at 17 he wrote the Midsummer Night's Dream overture, such a marvel of maturity ! It would seem
Mendelssohn did not really show a development in his short career. All his talents were there from the start.

Offline outin

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Re: The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish
«Reply #10 on: September 20, 2015, 05:18:28 AM »
Lets not forget that he wrote as many as 5 finished piano concertos (including the ones for 2 pianos). The G minor and D minor are both among my favorite concertos. Not that profound but wonderfully entertaining. He really knew how to work with the piano and orchestra IMO.

Then again I generally prefer works where the orchestra is kept at it's place, since I simply cannot stand music dominated by violins...whoever invented that instrument should have been shot!  :P

Offline goldentone

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Re: The Superb Mendelssohn Scottish
«Reply #11 on: September 28, 2015, 07:30:39 PM »
I was quite ready to believe this ;) But on Wikipedia I read that his two piano concerti date from 1831 (contemporary with the Italian Symphony) and 1837 (contemporary with
the Paulus oratorium). Such trifling fluff amidst profound masterpieces. And to think
at 17 he wrote the Midsummer Night's Dream overture, such a marvel of maturity ! It would seem
Mendelssohn did not really show a development in his short career. All his talents were there from the start.

Yeah, that's a surprise they were written in later years.  Interestingly, as an aside, I just read that Wagner aimed to erase Mendelssohn from music history, even though Mendelssohn, Jewish, had converted to Christianity when he was young.
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come