- Symphony No. 4 in A major ("Italian"), Op. 90
- Symphony No. 5 in D major/D minor ("Reformation"), Op. 107
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With an energetic but scrappy "Italienne" coupled to a serious but scrawny "Réformation," there's not much to recommend in this 2006 recording of Mendelssohn's symphonies by Emmanuel Krivine and La Chambre Philharmonique. With angular strings, pungent winds, blunt brass, and an overly muscular timpanist, the international European chamber orchestra finally amounts to less than the sum of its parts because it has not yet coalesced from a band of individuals into a cogent ensemble. Thus, while there is much that is impressive here -- the thrust of the development as it crests into the recapitulation in the "Italienne"'s opening Allegro vivace or the tone of their strings in the same work's Con moto moderato, for example -- this is much more that fails to come off -- the "Italienne"'s "Saltarello" is driven but never arrives and the "Réformation"'s tone is less soulful and spiritual than sour and dour. While one looks forward to subsequent recordings by Krivine and La Chambre Philharmonique to hear how they come together, their performances here are surpassed by numerous earlier recordings. Naïve's sound is direct and straightforward with impressive immediacy.