Breitkopf & Härtel


Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, MWV N 18, Op. 56


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The first performance of the "Scottish" Symphony took place under the direction of the composer on 3 March 1842 at the 19th subscription concert of the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. A few months later (on 13 June 1842), Mendelssohn conducted the work's enthusiastically acclaimed London first performance with the Philharmonic Society. It was also around this time that Mendelssohn began forming the plan to dedicate the publication of the symphony – he had, after all, obtained the first impulses for its composition in the British Isles – to the young Queen Victoria. The symphony was published on 10 December 1842 in a version for piano duet written by the composer himself. It was released simultaneously by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Ewer & Co. in London and by Benacci & Peschier. in March of the following year, Breitkopf & Härtel issued the score and parts. Mendelssohn again made considerable revisions for this print, which is the one that has since been used as the final version supervised and authorized by the composer.

Once again, musicological source studies preparing the publication of the volume in the Leipziger Mendelssohn-Ausgabe have provided in A Major surprise: the "London" version of June 1842 has survived in a copy of the score. Only with this score can the composer's (first) revision after the first performance in Leipzig be interpreted lucidly. A new light is thus cast on the often played "Scottish" Symphony which, incidentally, Mendelssohn never called as such.