I want to thank Stuart Sillitoe for bringing this new release to my attention. Mendelssohn's first symphony seems an ideal candidate for the HIP treatment, as all the modern instrument versions I've heard make the textures sound turgid and unwelcoming. I do have the recording by Kuijken, but it is something of a bore (presumably the reason it is long out of print).
Heras-Casado has recorded Mendelssohn's 2nd symphony, the great Lobgesang - but NOT on historical instruments, as I discovered when the CD arrived in the mail. The one HIP recording of this work remains Spering on Opus 111/Naive, which is decent but no more. (I would apply the same verdict to Heras-Casado's version.)
The Lobgesang seems a very difficult work to get right in every detail. My favourite is Ashkenazy's recording, but even he suffers from some overly heavy vibrato in the first movement, and an ending that is disappointingly unemphatic (as opposed to Karajan, who really overdoes it in defiance of the score!).
Ashkenazy does have the sweetest sopranos for 'Ich harrete des Herrn'/'I waited on the Lord', and has spoiled me for all other versions in this respect.
Bruggen's set of the last three symphonies plus two overtures is long out of print but worth seeking out. The disc with Symphony No. 3 and the overtures is the high point, and it makes me wonder why no historical instrument group has released a set of the complete Mendelssohn overtures, as it would surely fill a gap in many collections.
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