Musa Italiana: Orchestral Works by Mendelssohn, Schubert and Mozart

Filarmonica della Scala, Riccardo Chailly

Musa Italiana: Orchestral Works by Mendelssohn, Schubert and Mozart
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Musa Italiana: Orchestral Works by Mendelssohn, Schubert and Mozart

Filarmonica della Scala, Riccardo Chailly

Riccardo Chailly’s much-anticipated recording of Mendelssohn’s ‘Italian' symphony in the revised 1834 version, recorded in Dolby Atmos in the glorious, golden auditorium of Teatro alla Scala. Coupled with Schubert’s two Rossini-inspired overtures ‘in the italian style' and three Mozart overtures to operas premiered in Milan.

Enjoy Chailly’s trademark qualities of forward momentum, breezy tempi and explosive detail' - Financial Times

Review

This album takes the idea of fusion to a more heightened ideal, with all the works written by Austro-German composers in the ‘Italian style’. What does this mean you might ask? It means works by composers who were taught within the traditionally heavier Germanic style – using the contrapuntal compositions of Bach as examples – looking instead towards the often lighter Italian compositions for inspiration.

Drawing on traditional saltarello rhythms, Rossini’s operas and the famous crowd-pleasing ‘Rossini crescendo’, the symphony and overtures on this album blend the best of two worlds to create groundbreaking works for their eras. We often forget how much of a game changer people like Mozart, Mendelssohn and Schubert were in their day. Mozart’s trips to Italy were hugely influential to his musical development and it shows in the three overtures on this album. Meanwhile Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 4 was considered so unlike his previous symphonies it has the nickname ‘The Italian Symphony’.

Riccardo Chailly joins with the Filarmonica della Scala and during the pandemic they recorded these works in a heavily modified La Scala theatre. In creating a new space for the orchestra that would comply with pandemic restrictions, they discovered the true genius of the building’s original architect, Giuseppe Piermarini, as the acoustics from the centre of the auditorium are spectacular. Listen to this very special recording from La Scala with a difference.

Kate Rockstrom is a friend of Readings.

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