Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night's Dream (incidental music)

Author: 
Ivan March
Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night's Dream (incidental music)Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night's Dream (incidental music)

Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night's Dream (incidental music)

  • (A) Midsummer Night's Dream

Trevor Harvey generally thought highly of Marriner's Philips CD (although in his original review he suggested the Overture was ''too fast'' and preferred Klemperer—whose CD is promised from EMI shortly). The Philips issue has the advantage of real digital recording with a nice overall bloom and a Scherzo which in TH's words is ''a chuckling performance that is a joy''. But Marriner's selection is not complete. Not only are the Melodramas omitted (which many may not count a special disadvantage) but Marriner also cuts off the Rustic's ending of the Intermezzo. On this CD, Previn's performance—which I rate the best of all counts—sounds wonderfully fresh. The strings in the Overture are deliciously clean and transparent and throughout the recording is clear and natural without losing its bloom, the overall enhancement and tangibility almost startling when compared with the LP. Moreover Previn not only includes the Melodramas—flimsy little bits of orchestration, that are nevertheless quite charming—but makes them seem structurally essential, in most cases. The singing of his soloists and choir is delightful and altogether this can be welcomed as leading the field on CD, LP and tape by a clear margin.
Congratulations to Christopher Bishop and Christopher Parker for the excellent balance of the original recording, to whoever made the CD transfer, and most of all to Previn and his artists for some engaging fairy magic.'

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