Fabulous Performances: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61

A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a play by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors, who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play, categorized as a Comedy, is one of Shakespeare’s most popular works for the 
stage and is widely performed across the world. [Wikipedia]

In 1826, Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) composed a concert overture, inspired by the play, that was first performed in 1827. In 1842, partly because of the fame of the overture, and partly because his employer King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia liked the incidental music that Mendelssohn had written for other plays that had been staged at the palace in German translation, Mendelssohn was commissioned to write incidental music for a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that was to be staged in 1843 in Potsdam. He incorporated the existing Overture into the incidental music, which was used in most stage versions through the 19th century. The best known of the pieces from the incidental music is the famous “Wedding March”, frequently used as a recessional in weddings. [Wikipedia]

(00:00) (01) Overture op.21 and Incidental Music op.61
(11:47) (02) No. 1 Scherzo (Act II, scene 1)
(16:32) (03) No. 2
(18:21) (04) —– March of the Fairies
(19:59) (05) No. 3 (Act II, scene 2) Song with Chorus
(24:44) (06) No. 4
(25:22) (07) No. 5 [Intermezzo]
(29:30) (08) No. 7 (Act III, scene 2) [Nocturne]
(35:50) (09) No. 8 (Act IV, scene 1)
(38:23) (10) No. 9 Wedding March
(43:30) (11) No.10 (Act V, scene 1)
(44:15) (12) —– Marcia Funebre
(45:49) (13) No.11 A Dance of Clowns
(47:54) (14) No.12
(49:34) (15) No.13 Finale

Judi Dench (narrator),
Kathleen Battle (soprano),
Frederica von Stade (mezzo-soprano)

Orchestra: Boston Symphony, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

Conductor: Seiji Ozawa.

4 responses to “Fabulous Performances: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61

  1. Pingback: Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture Op.21 by Masur, LGO (1997): great compositions/performances | euzicasa

  2. Pingback: F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy – Suite ‘Ein Sommernachtstraum’ / A Midsummer Night’s Dream Op. 61 (Live): make music part of your life series | euzicasa

  3. Pingback: make music part of your life series: Felix Bartholdy Mendelssohn – 4 pieces for String Quartet Op. 81 – III. Capriccio | euzicasa

  4. Pingback: Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Felix Mendelssohn – Songs without Words – Op.53, No.1 | euzicasa

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