Evening Masterwork: Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony

Felix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847)

Symphony No. 4 in A Op. 90 by Felix Mendelssohn

Evening Masterwork for September 22, 2019 – 7:00 PM on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9

In October of 1830, Mendelssohn went to Italy, a trip that last 10 months, and a trip in which he found himself starting out in Venice and travelling south to Rome, and then onward to Naples. The composer documented his impressions of the trip in a series of watercolors and sketches, and in his Fourth Symphony. In his Symphony No. 4, nicknamed the “Italian” Symphony, only the final movement is Italian in any way – the rest of the work, Mendelssohn conveys a series of impressions of Italy, like the Mediterranean sunshine, monumental art and architecture, and the open countryside.