Author Topic: A Midsummer Nights Dream  (Read 5675 times)

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Offline rubio

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A Midsummer Nights Dream
« on: May 13, 2007, 05:50:32 AM »
Probably I should have heard a recording of this famous piece as well. Do you have any really worthwile recommendations? It seems like this Previn account is highly acclaimed, and cheap as well.

“One good thing about music, when it hits- you feel no pain” Bob Marley

hornteacher

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2007, 06:10:06 AM »
I wont claim this to be the definitive recording but it is good and is my favorite (mainly because it has all the incidental music mixed with short quotes from the play).

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=780

Offline stingo

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2007, 05:15:44 PM »
I bought the Haenssler CD from BRO and found it quite enjoyable. (I had just seen the ballet in Philadelphia and wanted the music, so I picked that up.)

Offline Bogey

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2007, 06:04:57 PM »


Warning: Must enjoy other Marriner efforts to consider this recording.   Not over the top....smooth account. 
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 06:06:40 PM by Bogey »
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Daverz

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2007, 09:12:42 PM »
Beecham on EMI for the overture.

For the incidental music, there was an old CD of Leinsdorf with the Boston SO that had very brief readings from the play in English.



Enough text to give some atmosphere, but not so much that it detracts from the music.

There are still some copies at amazon.

Offline val

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2007, 12:20:52 AM »
For the overture I would chose Szell with Cleveland.

For the incidental music, Klemperer (with Harper and Baker) or Kubelik (with Mathis).

Harry Collier

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2007, 02:00:13 AM »

I second Klemperer. Not an obvious choice, perhaps. But old Otto makes the music sound great.

Offline dirkronk

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2007, 05:56:42 AM »
Maybe I'm hopelessly old-school, with recommendations bogged down in LP-land, but I've long loved Maag on Decca/London. Still do. Very good recording and beautiful playing by the LSO. Did this one simply not survive the transition to CD? Or are his excerpts not extensive enough to compete with the others mentioned?

Szell is up there, too. In addition to the overture with Cleveland, there's a smattering of other pieces with the Concertgebouw that he did way back when. Wish he'd done much more. Worth hunting down.

FWIW,

Dirk

Offline Shrunk

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2007, 07:31:10 AM »
I've been listenting to this piece a fair amount recently, because my daughters (grades 4 and 6) are doing the play at their school and my wife is making the costumes, so the music helps as inspiration.

I like Flor on RCA:


Offline Brian

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2007, 01:22:21 PM »
You can actually buy a pretty good recording for just $3:



It suits me fairly well, though there are some weirdly long pauses between some passages (well, only 5 sec or so). Doesn't have quotes from the play and whatnot, however - though it does come with an interesting aria called "Infelice" as filler. It's not perfect, but it's $3.

Harry Collier

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2007, 09:44:58 PM »
it's not perfect, but it's $3.

You must have a pretty low opinion of Mendelssohn's music to think that "it's only $3" is an important factor in recommending a recording that, in many cases, people can be expected to keep for decades.

Offline hautbois

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2007, 03:40:12 AM »
I've been listenting to this piece a fair amount recently, because my daughters (grades 4 and 6) are doing the play at their school and my wife is making the costumes, so the music helps as inspiration.

I like Flor on RCA:



Claus Peter Flor is the best conductor i have heard live so far. Does anyone have any idea of his discography? I am completely shocked that he doesnt appear so often in everyone's weekly buys. Maybe he doesnt record much?

Offline Rabin_Fan

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2007, 04:21:56 AM »
He's very good - hailed in the late 80s and early 90s but disappeared from the recording scene somewhat. But he was one of the most impressive conductors to lead the MPO on a guest basis. Fantastic control and atmosphere in the Prokofiev R&J as well as a good Bruckner 5 (though it did not beat the live Karajan/BPO experience I had in London in 1980/81 season).

Howard - you know of BURKHARD GLAETZNER,  Romantic Oboe Concertos. Ponchielli, Kalliwoda, Molique, Pasculli. Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester / Claus Peter Flor. Capriccio 10281 (I have this!)

Offline Rabin_Fan

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2007, 04:25:16 AM »
Howard - I also have his (CP Flor) Dvorak Sym 8 and Serenade for Strings. Not heard the MSND though.

For MSND, I have Marriner/Philips and Abbado/BPO/Sony (sounds like recorded at a lower level and the speakers were dubbed in later)

Offline Brian

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2007, 03:50:14 PM »
You must have a pretty low opinion of Mendelssohn's music to think that "it's only $3" is an important factor in recommending a recording that, in many cases, people can be expected to keep for decades.

Actually I like the CD and music.  :)  I'm a high school student with no source of income (it's all being saved for college), so for me it IS important to consider price.

Offline Rabin_Fan

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2007, 10:03:14 PM »
Well, we understand you Brian. Make note of all of our fav. versions of your fav. music and when you are older and can afford multiple versions, you can buy our top picks.


Offline VonStupp

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2021, 10:43:08 AM »
Probably I should have heard a recording of this famous piece as well. Do you have any really worthwile recommendations? It seems like this Previn account is highly acclaimed, and cheap as well.



There are so many varieties of this incidental music on record, but I do have my druthers:

Sung in German: Nicholas Harnoncourt on Teldec, paired with Mendelssohn's First Walpurgis Night, a neglected, but worthy cantata.

No Speaking: James Levine on DG with Chicago, usually paired with Schubert's Rosamunde, with a fun DG cover, and Chailly on Decca paired with both Mendelssohn Piano Concertos.

With a children's choir: Andre Previn on EMI, or Walter Weller on Brilliant paired with Kurt Masur's Mendelssohn Overtures, stunning readings of those overtures in particular.

With a single speaker: Seiji Ozawa on DG with Dame Judy Dench (perhaps the finest of them all in my eyes) or Claudio Abbado on Virgin with Kenneth Branaugh (and Sylvia McNair singing, a favorite soprano of mine).

With a cast of voice actors: I have only heard James Judd on Naxos, cross-posted below from today, purportedly the most complete version at the time (2010), and coming in at 76 minutes. I am told John Nelson on Virgin comes complete with a Shakespearean Company, plus a Parisian orchestra and choir, but I have not heard it.

I didn't realize I had so many of these, plus some others not mentioned, like the classic Klemperer. There is really no reason for me to find more...I think.


Felix Mendelssohn
A Midsummer Night's Dream, op. 21 (Overture) & 61 (Incidental Music)

Soloists, Chorus, & Speakers
New Zealand SO - James Judd


My, I find Mendelssohn's music commanding, yet he was so short lived. The overture, and some of the other numbers here remain miniature masterpieces to my ears.

This particular recording is a bit jarring; the orchestral music was recorded in 2003, adding the sung portions in 2007 in New Zealand, and the acting was put together in London in 2009, but different speakers (same musical performance) are also available on a different Naxos release if you want spoken German instead.


« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 11:07:13 AM by VonStupp »
“All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.”

Offline Jo498

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2021, 11:23:57 AM »
I haven't heard any one with longer excerpts of the play performed by actors.  Among the handful of more or less complete/suite versions I have heard, the Ozawa with Dench is a special favorite and it seems to me a great compromise to have the shorter bits of music that are usually cut and the context with one very good speaker on a single disc, so one does not get half the play and long speaking passages. But it was also my first recording, maybe that's why I like it so much.
(I think the "suite" of different extensions I have in recordings with Fricsay, Maag, Klemperer, Szell, Herreweghe).

A worthwhile curiosity is the music for a film arranged by Korngold although he uses lots of different pieces by Mendelssohn in his own orchestrations.
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00000J8XN

Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline VonStupp

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Re: A Midsummer Nights Dream
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2021, 12:17:50 PM »
A worthwhile curiosity is the music for a film arranged by Korngold although he uses lots of different pieces by Mendelssohn in his own orchestrations.
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00000J8XN



Gerd Albrecht certainly has an interesting catalog to his name.
“All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.”