In 1832, the Royal Philharmonic Society of London honoured the young German composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy with several commissions. One of the works composed as a result was the A major symphony, the “Italian”, based on Mendelssohn’s experiences in Italy in 1830 and 1831. The work was premiered in 1833, conducted by the composer.
Today, the Italian Symphony has a firm place in the canon of classical masterworks, though at its premiere and both the following performances, the work was not entirely positively received.
Mendelssohn himself was unhappy with it. In 1834, he revised the last three movements, but did not complete this revision. To this day, the early version of the “Italian” is the one played everywhere, whilst the revised version has remained to a large extent unknown. Bärenreiter’s critical new edition, edited by Christopher Hogwood, includes all the performance material for the complete version of 1833, together with the last three movements in the composer’s revised version. Conductors can now choose between the early and revised versions; the revised one includes the first movement from the early version.
- A famous work for the Mendelssohn anniversary year in a new Urtext edition
- With the well-known early version, and the composer’s revised version
- Includes an informative foreword in English and German
- With facsimile pages