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Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night's Dream; Overtures / Royal Scottish National SO; Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig; Weller; Masur

Album Summary

>Mendelssohn, Felix : A Midsummer Night's Dream
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Ruy Blas Overture, Op. 95
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Hebrides Overture, in B minor Op. 26 "Fingal's Cave"
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Overture for orchestra in C major ("Trumpet"), Op. 101
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Overture for orchestra in F major ("Fair Melusina"), Op. 32
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture, in D major Op. 27
Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This special collection brings together Felix Mendelssohn's concert overtures, a genre for which the composer was particularly famed. Among them is Ruy Blas; despite Mendelssohn's initial lack of interest in his commission for this work, he later divulged that 'the whole thing gave me more pleasure than much else I have undertaken', and today the work is heralded by many as a dramatic masterpiece. Also featured is The Hebrides - inspired by the composer's first visit to Britain in 1829 - and the C major Overture, also known as the 'Trumpet' overture and which received its name due to the impressive flourishes for this instrument that permeate the work. The Fair Melusine was written in direct response to the overture of an opera of the same name by Conradin Kreutzer, which Mendelssohn 'disliked ... exceedingly', claiming that his own attempt would 'have more substance'. Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage is an excellent example of Mendelssohn's ability to compose for seascape, with the contrabassoon representing the rolling waves. The collection is preceded by A Midsummer Night's Dream, a work that began its life as a concert overture, receiving its first performance in the garden of the composer's family's Berlin house, with players and audience drawn from relatives and friends. Mendelssohn later expanded the work into incidental music to accompany Shakespeare's play on which it is based, and it is now counted among the composer's most popular works: a regular favourite in concert halls the world over. A wealth of performance talent is assembled for this release, with acclaimed conductors Walter Weller and Kurt Masur sharing the baton. Other information: Contains liner notes on the composer and works. Recorded in Glasgow and Leipzig, 1974.

David Smith, Presto Classical, December 2014
Kurt Masur and Walter Weller lead the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Royal Scottish National Orchestras in vivid performances.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: City Hall, Glasgow (02/1974-03/1974); Versöhnungskirche, Leipzig (02/1974-03/1974); City Hall, Glasgow (04/1992); Versöhnungskirche, Leipzig (04/1992).



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Works Details

>Mendelssohn, Felix : A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Conductor: Walter Weller
  • Ensemble: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig
  • Running Time: 44 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1843

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Ruy Blas Overture, Op. 95
  • Conductor: Walter Weller
  • Ensemble: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Running Time: 7 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 03/08/1839

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Hebrides Overture, in B minor Op. 26 "Fingal's Cave"
  • Conductor: Kurt Masur
  • Notes: Composition written: 12/11/1830.
  • Running Time: 9 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 12/11/1830

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Overture for orchestra in C major ("Trumpet"), Op. 101
  • Conductor: Kurt Masur
  • Running Time: 9 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: circa 1825

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Overture for orchestra in F major ("Fair Melusina"), Op. 32
  • Conductor: Kurt Masur
  • Running Time: 11 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 11/14/1833

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture, in D major Op. 27
  • Conductor: Kurt Masur
  • Running Time: 11 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: circa 05/1828