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Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream Overture; Brahms: Symphony No. 1 / Georg Solti, Chicago SO (rec. 1971 at the Edinburgh Festival) [DVD]

Album Summary

>Mendelssohn, Felix : A Midsummer Night's Dream
>Brahms, Johannes : Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68
Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Recorded in 1971, the film on this DVD is taken from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's appearance at the Edinburgh Festival in the same year: their first ever concert outside America. This is the first release of this material on DVD and is the first in a series of Sir Georg Solti/CSO releases to come from ICA Classics to celebrate Solti's centenary.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 67 min.
Region: 0
Picture Format: NTSC, 4:3, B&W
Sound Format(s): Mono,
Subtitles: German, English, French
Country of Origin: Germany


Solti Triumphant
Electrifying performances in vivid 1971 color and superbly balanced "enhanced mono" sound that could easily pass for stereo. Solti's youthful vigor (he was 60 years of age when he finally brought his great orchestra to Edinburgh) is on full display in his mercurial reading of the delightful Mendelssohn Overture that opens our program.

The maestro's dramatic gifts inform his Brahms First. His reading of the first movement is logical, direct, and plainly spoken. Compared to a Stokowski or Koussevitzky he seems dispassionate and cool, but his approach is nonetheless quite effective. Despite Solti's measured pace, there's plenty of drama, and the glorious sound of the Chicago Symphony is a joy to hear. By contrast, II has all the warmth and expressiveness that was sometimes absent from the opening movement. The camera captures Solti smiling quite often here, and we can't help but smile along with him. The wind solos are uniquely colorful and expressive, causing one to wish Brahms had written concertos for these instruments.

III feels more like a scherzo than usual, yet the lyrical moments are delightfully genial and flowing. The dark beginning of the finale may not be as portentous as Bernstein's, but the occasional flashes of lightening from the strings are unexpectedly startling, and the lovely main theme arrives in a burst of golden sunshine. From there Solti builds the music to a triumphal, blazing climax that perfectly caps off this splendid program.
Submitted on 03/03/14 by Tom Godell 
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Works Details

>Mendelssohn, Felix : A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Conductor: Georg Solti
  • Ensemble: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1843
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Brahms, Johannes : Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1855-1876
  • Studio/Live: Live