Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto and the Symphony No. 5
Hebrides Overture, Op. 26
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, performed with Isabelle Faust (violin)
Symphony No. 5 in D major, Op. 107 ‘Reformation’
All supported by the Freiburger Barockorchester, Pablo Heras-Casado conducting.
After completing the his ‘Hebrides’ Overture and the serious ‘Reformation’ Symphony, Mendelssohn began to work on his second violin concerto. After a long period in which he polished the orchestration and carefully revised the solo violin part, the work was finally premiered in Leipzig in 1845.
Over the years that followed many artists left for us traces of their playing style: fingering, bowing and score markings. This precious heritage has been scrutinised by violinist Isabelle Faust, as a previously unexploited expressive musical resource.
In this recording, Isabelle Faust, accompanied by the Freiburger Barockorchester under the direction of Pablo Heras-Casado, offers us a miracle of purity and lyricism in a new interpretation that fulfils Mendelssohn’s promise of ‘a concerto to make the angels rejoice in heaven’!
The Times recently wrote the following:
“[Faust] takes the radical decision to perform the work as scholars now think mid-19th-century violinists would have done: with minimal vibrato, but lots of slides between the notes and very different bowings, making the piece sound far spikier and febrile than the suavely efficient readings one usually hears today. Some may think her tone is too parched; I loved it.”
Here is Ms. Faust in the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E-minor: