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Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream

  • Catalogue Number LSO0795
    UPC 822231179528

    Nicholas Parker producer
    Neil Hutchinson and Jonathan Stokes for Classic Sound Ltd sound engineers
    Nicholas Parker and Neil Hutchinson audio editors

    Recorded live in DSD 128fs, 16 February 2016, at the Barbican, London

    Includes a Pure Audio Blu-ray disc with bonus footage of the concert performance, as well as high-resolution master audio.

    Programme notes in English / Notes de programme en français /
    Einführungstexte auf Deutsch
    Texts in English. Sung and spoken in English

  • Concert reviews

    ***** ‘It was the consistent suavity of the LSO’s playing under Gardiner’s baton that impressed most of all. The winds were outstanding in Mendelssohn’s shimmering score’ The Guardian

    ***** ‘You’d have had to have been an ass to find this performance of Mendelssohn’s incidental music …anything other than magical…John Eliot Gardiner unlocked both the silken beauty of this music and its evanescence’ The Times

    **** ‘I suspect I’ll hear this miraculous score many times…but I doubt I’ll hear it better played than the LSO under Sir John Eliot Gardiner…This performance tingled with drama’ Bachtrack

    **** ‘The magic was supplied by those musicians, under John Eliot Gardiner, spinning textures of delectable delicacy, with feather-light strings and fluttery flutes’ Evening Standard

£12.99

Sir John Eliot Gardiner
London Symphony Orchestra


*** Please note that this item is currently available for pre-order, and will be released on Friday 3 February 2017. Pre-orders will be shipped out one week in advance of the release date. ***

Continuing his award-winning cycle, Sir John Eliot Gardiner leads the London Symphony Orchestra, his Monteverdi Choir and three talented, young, actors from the Guildhall School in a landmark performance of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was performed as part of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. To mark the celebrations, Gardiner produced a special version of the work featuring some cuts to the original movements, in his words, ‘removing all of the music relating to the Mechanicals and thus focusing on the world of the fairies and the human lovers.’

Mendelssohn, who adored Shakespeare’s writings, composed his concert overture based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1827 at the young age of 17 after having read a German translation of the play in 1826. The overture was immediately acclaimed as a masterpiece and quickly became a popular favourite throughout Europe. Years later in 1843 he was asked by the King of Prussia to provide a score for an entire production. It’s made of 14 short works based on themes and moods from the original overture, with a broadly romantic sound although classical in style and structure. Music scholar George Grove described it as 'the greatest marvel of early maturity that the world has ever seen in music” and reviewer Peter Read says 'an astonishing feat of imagination and perception, one of the perfect acts of musical interpretation arising out of early-nineteenth-century sensibilities that, nearly two centuries later, is still channeling our understanding of Shakespeare’s disarming examination of the workings of our subconscious'.

The album's Pure Audio Blu-ray disc will include bonus footage of the concert performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 1, alongside high-resolution master audio.

Composer   Mendelssohn
Conductor   Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Performers   London Symphony Orchestra
Choir   Monteverdi Choir
Actors   Alexander Knox, Ceri-lyn Cissone, Frankie Wakefield

Track list
1. Overture
2. Incidental music: Narration - "Ay me! For aught that I could ever read"
3. No 1 Scherzo
4. No 2 L'istesso tempo
5. No 2a Allegro vivace
6. No 3 Lied mit Chor
7. No 4 Andante
8. No 5 Allegro appassionato
9. No 7 Nocturne (Con moto tranquillo)
10. No 8 Andante
11. No 9 Hochzeitmarsch ("Wedding March") & No 12 Allegro vivace come primo
12. Finale (Allegro di molto)

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