Mendelssohn’s Second Symphony “Lobgesang [Hymn of Praise]” is highly original from a conceptual point of view, with its combination of three instrumental movements, followed by a cantata with three soloists and chorus. The piece is a milestone in the history of the symphonic form, stretching the seams of the symphony genre even further than Beethoven had dared with his “Choral” Ninth. In his Lobgesang, Mendelssohn achieved nothing less than the artistic destruction of the conceptual opposition of vocal and instrumental music. Here they enter into a relationship of constructive, mutual support in the service of music. Moreover, the Biblical lyrics express Mendelssohn’s deeply-felt religiosity.
This album completes PENTATONE’s Mendelssohn Symphonies series with the NDR Radiophilharmonie and conductor Andrew Manze. After winning the Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2017 for their recording of Symphonies 1 & 3 and the positive reception of Symphonies 4 & 5, expectations are high for this final piece of the puzzle. On this album, the NDR Radiophilharmonie and Andrew Manze join forces with the NDR Chor and WDR Rundfunkchor, as well as with an excellent cast of soloists: sopranos Anna Lucia Richter and Esther Dierkes and tenor Robin Tritschler.