Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream - incidental music, Op. 61 & Overture, Op. 21

LSO Live: LSO0795

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Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream - incidental music, Op. 61 & Overture, Op. 21


Presto Disc of the Week

3rd February 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - April 2017


LSO Live

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Release date:

3rd Feb 2017




55 minutes


SACD + Blu-ray (download also available)
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Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream - incidental music, Op. 61 & Overture, Op. 21


A Midsummer Night's Dream - incidental music, Op. 61

A Midsummer Night's Dream Overture, Op. 21

Recorded live in DSD128fs at the Barbican Hall, 16th February 2016

Ceri-lyn Cissone (Hermia/Fairy/Titania); Alexander Knox (Lysander/Puck), and Frankie Wakefield (Oberon/Theseus)

London Symphony Orchestra & The Monteverdi Choir, Sir John Eliot Gardiner

SACD + Blu-ray - 2 discs


(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

Continuing his award-winning cycle of works by Felix Mendelssohn, Sir John Eliot Gardiner leads the LSO, his Monteverdi Choir and three talented young actors from the Guildhall in a landmark performance of '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 that, in his words, "remove all of the music relating to the Mechanicals and thus focus 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 aged 17, after having read a German translation of the play. 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: 14 short works based on themes and moods from the original overture, with a broadly romantic sound although classical in style and structure.

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

SACD Hybrid + Pure Audio Blu-ray | 2 disc jewel case with clear tray

2.0 stereo | multi-channel 5.1

Notes in En, Fr, Ge

Felix Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 21

Overture (Allegro di molto)

Overture (Tempo primo)

Felix Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Incidental Music, Op. 61

"Ay Me! For Aught That I Could Ever Read"

No. 1, Scherzo

No. 2, L'istesso tempo

No. 2a, Allegro vivace

No. 3, Lied mit Chor

No. 4, Andante

No. 5, Allegro appassionato

No. 7, Nocturne. Con moto tranquillo

No. 8, Andante

No. 9, Hochzeitmarsch "Wedding March" - No. 12, Allegro vivace come primo

Finale. Allegro di molto

Presto Classical

James Longstaffe

3rd February 2017

“it definitely still feels like a full representation of Mendelssohn's sparkling music. And sparkle it does: there's a real lightness of touch in the Overture, and I was delighted with the way that Gardiner manages to make familiar music sound fresh...I wouldn’t have thought there was anything Gardiner could have done to invigorate that most familiar of tunes, namely the Wedding March, and yet that’s exactly what he does.”

Sunday Times

26th February 2017

“Here, unless you were at the concert from which this recording was taken last year, is Mendelssohn’s Shakespeare music as you’ve never heard it before...Gardiner hears this music through the prism of period instruments and conveys its magic with his outstanding choir and soloists.”

Gramophone Magazine

April 2017

“…much to enjoy here…pinpoint precision of melody-carrying flutes and violins, the sure footed bass and above all a sense that the composer is being taken seriously.”

Classical Music

June 2017


“[Gardiner] secures remarkable crisp, lithe playing – some pianissimos are simply breathtaking – and restores a handful of cuts to the familiar performance version. His choral stalwarts are on top form, as are three impressive young actors from the GSMD”

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