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Completed in 1840, Mendelssohn's ‘Lobgesang’ Symphony is actually his fourth in order of composition, preceded by both the Italian (No.4) and the Reformation Symphony (No.5). It was composed to mark the 400th anniversary of Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press. Instead of dealing with the subject of printing or Gutenberg’s life, however, Mendelssohn chose to focus on the consequences of Gutenberg’s achievement, presenting it as the victory of light over darkness.
Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52, "Lobgesang" (Hymn of Praise)
I. Sinfonia: Maestoso con moto - Allegro
I. Allegretto un poco agitato
I. Adagio religioso
II. Alles was Odem hat (Chorus)
III. Recitative: Saget es, die ihr erlost seid (Tenor)
IV. Sagt es, die ihr erloset seid (Chorus)
V. Ich harrete des Herrn (2 Sopranos, Chorus)
VI. Stricke des Todes hatten uns umfangen (Tenor)
VI. Die Nacht ist vergangen (Soprano) - VII. Die Nacht ist vergangen (Chorus)
VIII. Chorale: Nun danket alle Gott (Chorus)
IX. Drum sing' ich mit meinem Liede (Soprano, Tenor)
X. Ihr Volker, bringet her dem Herrn (Chorus)
5th July 2009
“Litton's live recording is outstanding: observant of Mendelssohn's tempi, with beautifully detailed orchestral textures and lithe but robust choral work from the Danish National Vocal Ensemble and soloists Judith Howarth, Jennifer Larmore and Christoph Prégardien.”
11th July 2009
“The tenor Christoph Pregardien is powerfully eloquent in the work’s best section (the anguished Stricke des Todes), and the Bergen Philharmonic lilt charmingly during the opening Sinfonia.”
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