Felix Mendelssohn travelled a lot during his brief lifetime, and the places he visited did, in my view, have a definite impact in what we hear in his music.
This recording is performed by the Freiburger Barockorchester, Pablo Heras-Casado conducting.
In later life, Mendelssohn always opposed the use of the terms ‘Scottish’ and ‘Italian’ for his symphonies in A minor and A major performed here. Yet they were directly inspired by his European Grand Tour of 1829-32
Mendelssohn saw the ruins of Holyrood Abbey and the sunny landscapes of Rome and Naples. From these experiences, his imagination created masterpieces that have seldom been surpassed for their sense of orchestral color, vividly brought out here by the period instruments of the Freiburger Barockorchester.
The “Observer” wrote in January, 2016 about the “extremely lively and incisive account of the Scottish and Italian symphonies by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.”
Here is the Mendelssohn symphony #3 in a lively performance of the third movement, as directed by Pablo Heras-Casado: