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Hello, I'm looking for suggestions for the best Mendelssohn recordings (especially symphonies and violin concertos).
Symphonies 3,4 and MSND music: Maag on Decca (originally) and ARTS. These are lively and well-sprung performances.
Mendelssohn benefits from a divided violin orchestral arrangement. Klemperer (EMI) brings this and a good transparent sound in his stereo recordings. They are worth hearing, if not first choice.
I don't care for the Hymn of Praise, and not a great deal for the 5th, so no recommendations.
The Octet is very well served by Heifetz et al, and in a different style by the Vienna Octet, and the Melos Ensemble.
The piano concertos need to be heard by Serkin, Ormandy, and the Philadelphia Orchestra on CBS. These recordings ere in a class of their own. If you don't like them then try any number of others.
Songs without Words are very well worth hearing. Barenboim (DG) is a good version. In old sound Gieseking (EMI) does a good selection, as do many others.
The Violin concerto is done in very different styles by Kyung-Wha Chung, Menuhin/Furtwangler (which should be heard), Heifetz/Munch (stereo version, preferably in SACD so that the balance between violin and orchestra can be managed), , and David Oistrakh. However, a wonderful version in good sound exists from Nathan Milstein, on DG.