Marlboro Fest 40th Anniversary - Mendelssohn: Symphony No 4
...The lion's share of the release is taken up by five CDs with Casals conducting. The repertoire is solidly mainstream: Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8, Schubert's Fifth and Mendelssohn's Italian, and the Brahms Haydn Variations. These recordings are important if for no other reason than for documenting the work of one of the most powerful musical personalities of this century, who went on making music until his death in 1973 at the remarkable age of 96.
Casals was as much at home conducting as he was playing cello, and these performances are all imbued with the same characteristics as Casals's solo playing. They are very forthright with bold and emphatic shaping, vigorous rhythmic drive and concern for the overall musical shape of the work being performed. On the other hand, tempos are at times leisurely and there is a tendancy 'to enjoy the view'. This is very much an interpretative style more common to the first half of this century than the second. One feels that Casals is talking the same musical language as some of his great contemporaries such as Mengelberg and Furtwangler if without their personal idiosyncracies.
-- Gramophone [6/1991]
reviewing the Sony series of Marlboro 40th Anniversary CDs, which includes the present disc
Catalog Number: SONY 46251
Composer: Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor: Pablo Casals
Orchestra/Ensemble: Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Performer: Alexander Schneider, Arnold Steinhardt, David Soyer, Jaime Laredo, John Dalley, Leslie Parnas, Michael Tree, Samuel Rhodes