MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Magnificat in D major (1822) [26.13]
String Symphony no. 12 (1822) [4.52]
Ave Maria Op.23 no. 2 (1830) [6.55]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Magnificat in D major (1723/8) [27.54]
Yale Voxtet; Yale Schola Cantorum; Yale Collegium Players/Stephen Carrington
rec. Wolsely Hall, Yale University, Connecticut, USA, 3 May-3 September 2008
NAXOS 8.572161 [65.56]

Experience Classicsonline

Mendelssohn's Magnificat in D was written in 1822 when the composer was 13. Three years previously he had joined the Berlin Singakademie which had been founded by Carl Friedrich Zelter. It was under Zelter's influence that the young prodigy studied music by pre-classical composers. So his writing of the Magnificat was influenced by the settings of the same text by J.S. Bach and C.P.E. Bach.

But this was no arcane piece of revivalism; Mendelssohn wrote for a contemporary orchestra including clarinets and horns, and without the high trumpet parts found in Bach. But Mendelssohn's writing was pretty florid - Zelter sent the original setting of Quia respexit back. There seems to be uncertainty as to whether Zelter's Singakademie ever sang the Magnificat and the work was excluded from the first complete edition of the composer's works assembled in 1847.

The delightful Magnificat calls for the chorus to sing vocal lines which were conceived along lively baroque lines and were probably unsuited to the Singakademie's three hundred members - though they did sing other baroque pieces.

Here it is performed by the 24 voice Yale Schola Cantorum, accompanied by the Yale Collegium Players. A very good job they make of it too, under Simon Carrington's lively direction. Mendelssohn's teenage pieces, with some notable exceptions, still have not gained full exposure so that it is a pleasure to hear this committed and vivid performance.

Though there are nods in the direction of Bach, the sound-world is very much Mendelssohn's own, with some lovely moments such as the beautiful Quia respexit for soprano soloist (Melenie Scafide Russell) and chorus. Scafide and baritone David Dong-Geun Kim have a solo each in the piece. The remainder is set for chorus and orchestra, with the exception of Deposuit potentes set for the trio of soprano (Cecilia Leitner), mezzo-soprano (Laura C. Atkinson) and baritone (Jason P. Steigerwalt).

The Mendelssohn Magnificat is followed by a performance of the first movement of his 12th String Symphony, a piece which showcases Mendelssohn's contrapuntal and fugal abilities. This movement is almost contemporaneous with the Magnificat

The final Mendelssohn piece on the disc is his Ave Maria of 1830, one of his final pieces of Latin church music and a piece in which he looks back to the baroque poly-choral tradition as well as continuing the grand choral sound which he used in such pieces as Elijah.

If the performers had filled the remainder of the disc with music by Mendelssohn then I would have had no qualms about recommending this disc. As it is, they have decided to perform Bach's Magnficat. The performance is neither a modern, period practice one, nor a re-creation of the sort of performance which Mendelssohn might have heard in his lifetime. Instead, they give us a very creditable modern instrument account, which is crisp, lively and perfectly creditable. The soloists all come from the Yale Voxted and the performance showcases six of them (Melanie Scafide Russell, Cecilia Leitner, Jay Carter, Birger Radde, Michael Sansoni, Jason P Steigerwalt).

You would not buy this disc for the performance of Bach's Magnificat in D major. In a crowded field, there are many recordings of the Bach, both period and modern instrument which are finer than this. That said, the young graduate performers acquit themselves perfectly creditably. Certainly buy it if you are interested in early Mendelssohn. His Magnificat is strongly performed and the Bach is perfectly acceptable as a companion.

Robert Hugill

see also review by Johan van Veen





Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.