Mendelssohn 'Scottish' and 'Italian' Symphonies

Both the Scottish and Italian Symphonies can be counted as among the choicest fruits of Mendelssohn's 'Grand Tour' of Europe undertaken between 1829 and 1832. The 12-year gestation of the Scottish Symphony and the refusal to publish the Italian during his lifetime bespeak the perfectionism and humility of a genius who was carefully brought up to regard his own gifts as perfectly normal. We can all take to heart Mendelssohn's confession that the Italian Symphony, one of the most carefree and effortless masterpieces in the orchestral repertoire, cost him 'some of the bitterest moments I have ever endured'.



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