WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Symphony No 4 / Abbado


Release Date: 07/06/2012 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 62826   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Kenneth BranaghAngelika KirchschlagerSylvia McNair
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic OrchestraErnst Senff Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Abbado’s Mendelssohn is as fresh and vivacious as ever. The Italian Symphony positively crackles with energy, and the collaboration with Branagh passes with flying colors.

It’s good to be able to report that Abbado’s Mendelssohn is as fresh and vivacious as ever. His LSO recordings of the symphonies (on DG) were very fine, but this new Berlin account of the Italian Symphony – recorded live at the Berlin Philharmonic’s 1995 New Year’s Eve Concert – positively crackles with energy, especially in the whirlwind finale. The second movement’s procession is beguilingly phrased and Abbado even convinces me that the weak Minuet is worth its place in this otherwise utterly marvellous work. The performance of Mendelssohn’s equally
Read more delightful incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream is taken from the same concert, though Kenneth Branagh’s narration was added later (he projects well and the acoustics are well matched, so the result feels perfectly natural). The extracts Branagh uses fit well with Mendelssohn’s music (of which we hear all the important numbers) and concentrate on the central tussle between Titania and Oberon and the latter’s confused conspiracy with Puck to untangle the love lives of the young Athenians. It’s a heroic attempt to capture some of the magic of the play, and Branagh passes with flying colours (though I’m not totally convinced by Puck as a leprechaun). A delightful disc, then, beautifully packaged – though, curiously, without programme notes.

Performance: 5 (out of 5), Sound: 5 (out of 5)

-- Stephen Maddock, BBC Music Magazine
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Midsummer Night's Dream Overture, in E major Op. 21 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Kenneth Branagh (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/31/1995 
Venue:  Great Hall, Philharmonie, Berlin 
Length: 11 Minutes 42 Secs. 
2. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: Scherzo by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Kenneth Branagh (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/28/1996 
Venue:  Studio 1, Whitfield Street, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 22 Secs. 
3. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: How now spirit by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano), Sylvia McNair (Soprano), Kenneth Branagh (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/28/1996 
Venue:  Studio 1, Whitfield Street, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
4. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: March of the Fairies by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Kenneth Branagh (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/28/1996 
Venue:  Studio 1, Whitfield Street, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
5. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: Ye spotted snakes by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano), Sylvia McNair (Soprano), Kenneth Branagh (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/28/1996 
Venue:  Studio 1, Whitfield Street, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
6. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: What thou seest by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano), Sylvia McNair (Soprano), Kenneth Branagh (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/28/1996 
Venue:  Studio 1, Whitfield Street, London 
Length: 1 Minutes 12 Secs. 
7. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: Intermezzo by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Kenneth Branagh (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/28/1996 
Venue:  Studio 1, Whitfield Street, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
8. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: Nocturne by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Kenneth Branagh (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/28/1996 
Venue:  Studio 1, Whitfield Street, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 40 Secs. 
9. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: And now I have the boy by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano), Sylvia McNair (Soprano), Kenneth Branagh (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/28/1996 
Venue:  Studio 1, Whitfield Street, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
10. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Kenneth Branagh (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/28/1996 
Venue:  Studio 1, Whitfield Street, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 11 Secs. 
11. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: Finale by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Kenneth Branagh (Spoken Vocals), Sylvia McNair (Soprano), Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/28/1996 
Venue:  Studio 1, Whitfield Street, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 22 Secs. 
12. Symphony no 4 in A major, Op. 90 "Italian" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/31/1995 
Venue:  Live  Great Hall, Philharmonie, Berlin 
Length: 28 Minutes 46 Secs. 
13. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Angelika Kirchschlager (Mezzo Soprano), Sylvia McNair (Soprano), Kenneth Branagh (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook