"Have you had the opportunity to hear Mendelssohn's music performed with the Shakespeare play? We went to a performance where veteran Shakespearean actors, husband and wife John Bell and Anna Volska, acted every single part in the play, while the Sydney Opera and Ballet Orchestra performed the music. [It took about 2 minutes to adjust to a cast of 2!]Some people have called it "Great Music for a Silly Play," but I think both play and music are superb. By the way, it is not true that Mendelssohn wrote the music at the age of 17: he did write the overture then (which is an amazing feat), but the rest was written in his maturity.This recording does *not* feature the play, too, but it is one of my favourites. It is one of the earliest CDs we bought, and it is terrific that it is still available.The music is superb, and the performances of the orchestra, soloists and children's choir are top notch. This is one of the best pieces of Nineteenth Century Music. You may find that you play it more frequently than most CDs in your collection.Highly recommended."
Quite simply, the best Midsummer Nights Dream anywhere
Santa Fe Listener | 08/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This EMI recording came out in the late 1970s, and quite simply, no one else has come close to capturing the sheer beauty and quicksilver lightness of Mendelssohn's scoring. Andre Previn and his London forces have done a masterful job. One of those discs that should never be allowed to go out of print."
Great performance of great music.
D. R. Schryer | Poquoson, VA United States | 07/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mendelssohn's music for A Midsummer Night's Dream is a masterpiece -- perhaps his greatest composition. Although the overture was written when Mendelssohn was 17 and the rest of the incidental music was written during his early 30s, the music blends together seamlessly and conveys a uniquely magical atmosphere. Unfortunately, few conductor's fully capture this fairy-like atmosphere, but Andre Previn does. The only conductor who compared with Previn in this music was the late Peter Maag, but Maag recorded only excerpts of this music, whereas Previn presents the complete score. Other pluses of this recording are the excellent singing (in English), both by the sopranos and by the children's choir. This is an outstanding CD is every respect and no lover of classical music should miss it."
"If music be the food of love "
Rudy Avila | Lennox, Ca United States | 10/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like the reviewer before me mentioned, this is the best version of Midsummer Night's Dream out there. EMI labels are in fact high quality and I highly recommend them to music fans. Shakespeare has had a profound influence and inspiration in classical music. Mendelsshon was only 17 when he composed this "incidental music " meant to be played during the dialogue and action of the actual play itself. This piece is overflowing with Mendelsshon's genius. The Overture is a sunny orchestral piece, a fine example on how Mozart's relatively cheerful music had a deep influence on Mendelsshon. The same goes for the allegro-tempoed pieces heard throught much of the action in the play. In the Wedding March, Mendelsshon left his mark to the world. It is one of the most famous bits of music as it is used in weddings world-wide. The use of chorus is masterful and nearly operatic. "Come not near our fairie queen " sing the fairies in one of such chorus and the Final Chorus, as the play draws to an end is magnificent to hear. There is much Romanticism utilized, Mendelsshon being an noted Romantic composer and we hear this through the Nocturne and the slower movements. This is a must have for classical afficionados. I truly enjoyed it and rate it five stars!"