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In 1826 Felix Mendelssohn, aged only seventeen, composed his famous overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
He wrote incidental music for the same play sixteen years later, and effortlessly recaptured the world of his youthful imagination. It sparkles and shimmers with its fairy magic even now.
In this recording, the haunting Nocturne, the lively Scherzo and the famous Wedding March are interspersed with ‘melodramas’ accompanying spoken text from Shakespeare’s much-loved play.
Felix Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61 (Sung in English)
Act I: Scherzo
Act II Scene 1: How now, spirit! (Puck, Fairy)
Act II Scene 1: Fairies' March - Ill met by moonlight (Oberon, Titania, Puck)
Act II Scene 2: Come, now a roundel and a fairy song (Titania) - Song with Chorus: Ye spotted snakes (First Fairy, Second Fairy, Chorus of Fairies)
Act II Scene 2: What thou seest, when thou dost wake (Oberon, Puck)
Act II: Intermezzo
Act III Scene 1: Come, sit down, every mother's son (Quince, Puck, Bottom, Flute, Snout, Titania, Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed)
Act III Scene 2: I wonder if Titania be awaked (Oberon, Puck, Lysander, Demetrius, Helena, Hermia)
Act III: Nocturne
Act IV Scene 1: Her dotage now I do begin to pity… (Oberon, Titania, Puck, Theseus)
Act IV Scene 1: Wedding March
Act V Scene 1: So please your grace, the Prologue is address'd (Philostrate, Theseus, Prologue, Pyramus)
Act V Scene 1: Funeral March: How chance Moonshine is gone (Hippolyta, Theseus, Thisbe)
Act V Scene 1: A Dance of Clowns: The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve (Theseus, Puck)
Act V Scene 1: Through the house give glimmering light (Oberon, Titania)
Act V Scene 1: Song: Through the house give glimmering light (Fairies) - Now until the break of day… (Oberon, Fairies, Puck)
“Anyone who doubts the virtuosity and refinement of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra should hear these splendid performances under James Judd. The Overture sets the pattern with its crisply articulated, well-sprung fairy music and its often brassy contrasts”
“James Judd conducts the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, which plays the score with much affection...Pepe Becker and Jenny Wollerman...sing engagingly, with excellent diction, as do the sopranos and altos of the two choirs. Puck's closing 'If we shadows have offended' speech is delivered with sincerity, rounding off a truly engaging performance.”
24th Julne 2013
“The dramatic performance, directed by troupe member David Timson, is excellent, with the actors bringing off their multiple impersonations in a variety of accents, timbres, and inflections. The music is also well served.”
11th July 2010
“The self-contained numbers...may be familiar items, but on disc...you discover and enjoy so much more: the flashes of instrumental colour, the exquisite little tone paintings that intersperse or accompany the spoken text...Judd’s New Zealand and British forces...make it a rewarding experience.”
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