A Trip To The Hebrides

Classical Academy | ComposersOrchestral MusicAround The World | Romantic Period

One day in 1830 Fanny Mendelssohn received a postcard and a little sketch of a musical motif from her brother. It read "in order to make you understand how extraordinarily The Hebrides affected me, I send you the following, which came into my head there". Felix Mendelssohn had been travelling around Scotland just after his 20th birthday with his companion Karl Klingemann where he was also composing his Scottish Symphony. Known now as Fingal's Cave, the postcard sent to Fanny was actually sent a day before he visited that place, although its awesome size and depth (61m) with the colour pillars of basalt certainly shaped the musical breadth of the piece.

The Hebrides Overture is a typical example of the overture during the Romantic era, when the piece did not in fact introduce a play or opera but had become a work in its own right. And although this is programme music, the overture does not tell a story as such: it conjures up the mood of the Hebrides, the power of the sea, the beauty of the cave and the atmosphere of solitude.

Let your mind journey to the Hebrides as you listen to Mendelssohn's masterful overture on this superb recording.