Mendelssohn's Midsummer Nights Dream with Dialogue

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Lance
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Mendelssohn's Midsummer Nights Dream with Dialogue

Post by Lance » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:21 pm

I've been listening to a DGG recording [439 897] of Mendelssohn's composition on Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream with Kathleen Battle, soprano, Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Judi Dench is the narrator for this recording. It was recorded in October 1992 at Symphony Hall, Boston. While I love the work, I prefer to hear it without the narrations. Anybody agree with me on this?
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John F
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Re: Mendelssohn's Midsummer Nights Dream with Dialogue

Post by John F » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:03 pm

Back in the 1950s there was a complete recordng of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by the Old Vic theatre company, with Mendelssohn's music note-complete conducted by Malcolm Sargent. Mendelssohn composed a lot more music for MND than we ever hear, even in the recordings that go beyond the familiar suite, sometimes just a few notes (the four notes that begin the overture recur whenever the fairies appear). For me, not only this but the dramatic context and purpose of the many movements are interesting to know. Narrations substituted for the whole play tend to be pretty dismal, as with Kurt Masur's concert version of Ibsen/Grieg's "Peer Gynt," but unless I know the play quite well, I don't object to them.
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Lance
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Re: Mendelssohn's Midsummer Nights Dream with Dialogue

Post by Lance » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:28 pm

I recall that set, it was a 3-LP set on RCA Vault Treasures LVT-3002, now quite rare. I don't believe that one ever made it to CD. Amazon wants $200.00 for a used copy. I'll pass on this one. I have a lot of LVTs and LCTs LPs, but missed that one.
John F wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:03 pm
Back in the 1950s there was a complete recordng of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by the Old Vic theatre company, with Mendelssohn's music note-complete conducted by Malcolm Sargent. Mendelssohn composed a lot more music for MND than we ever hear, even in the recordings that go beyond the familiar suite, sometimes just a few notes (the four notes that begin the overture recur whenever the fairies appear). For me, not only this but the dramatic context and purpose of the many movements are interesting to know. Narrations substituted for the whole play tend to be pretty dismal, as with Kurt Masur's concert version of Ibsen/Grieg's "Peer Gynt," but unless I know the play quite well, I don't object to them.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

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