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Edward Gardner manages to make sense of Mendelssohn’s hippogriff, which started life as another crowd-pleasing oratorio but, lacking a satisfying subject, devolved into the hybrid form the composer called ‘symphony-cantata’. The results have been dismissed as genteel kitsch, but Gardner and his singers locate the nobility in the music’s odd mish-mash of baroque and romantic elements, and let it speak without excess drama. The two sopranos and tenor mesh convincingly and the final chorus is genuinely moving. The ‘Second’ (actually the fourth) is paired here with the composer’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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