One Symphony, five Overtures – all Italy-inspired. Of the latter, Schubert’s pair of Rossini-nodding Overtures in the Italian Style (D500 & D501) embraces the D-major, which opens darkly and heavy-of-heart only for the clouds to clear in an instance and let in a chirpy Allegro, carefree, bucolic woodwinds serenading, the coda moving into fifth gear and materially corresponding with Symphony 6. Similarly, the C-major, from dawn to sunny midday and a dancing tune that won’t leave you alone. The Mozart operatic triptych – Mitridate, re di Ponto (K87); Ascanio in Alba (K111); Lucio Silla (K135) – were all first staged in Milan and here enjoy the Scala musicians’ instinct for theatre, responding with style, unanimity and dynamism to Riccardo Chailly’s closely-observed, energetic and caring conducting. (There’s room for K318, Symphony 32, usually referred to as being ‘Italian’, a Sinfonia, if it had been deemed appropriate to include.)

The Symphony is Mendelssohn’s ‘Italian’, given in its revision, amendments Mendelssohn had no need to make (no more Bruckner with his First Symphony, from Linz to Vienna), but at least he left the first movement alone, here zesty and rhythmically patrician, if slightly falling over itself in haste, exposition repeat observed. What follows are changes that render the remaining movements neither better nor worse – interesting, if curious, sometimes wacky – but they haven’t caught on if previously recorded, certainly by Gerd Albrecht, albeit Chailly makes a strong case for Mendelssohn’s tinkering to be an occasional alternative.

Very well recorded in Teatro alla Scala, June last year, and excellently played, this Italian excursion, with a booklet note by James Jolly, is on Decca 485 2944.