Gardiner performs Mendelssohn.

Conductor John Eliot Gardiner is one of my favorite conductors. This post is about his interpretation of Mendelssohn’s Symphony number 5


  • Symphony No. 5.

Mendelssohn’s Symphony number 5 was written in 1830 to commemorate an event in the Protestant Reformation. Allusions to the symphony’s title and inspiration can be heard throughout the music itself.

While it might sound like a contradiction, I have always found in this music Mendelssohn’s success in depicting something grand, something important, and doing so without a specific religious reference.

Coupled with the symphony are two of Mendelssohn’s overtures, both of which were inspired by literary works: ‘Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage’, is based on two short poems by Goethe.

And the overture ‘Ruy Blas‘ was commissioned by the Leipzig Theatre as an overture to Victor Hugo’s tragic drama of the same name.

We hear the following music:


  • Symphony No. 5 in D major, Op. 107 ‘Reformation’
  • Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, Op. 27
  • Ruy Blas Overture, Op. 95

As performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducting.

Here is the Mendelssohn Symphony No. 5 “Reformation” conducted by John Eliot Gardiner with the Bayerischer Rundfunk: