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A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999) - Original Soundtrack

Release Date: 04/20/1999 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 466098   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Simon BoswellFelix MendelssohnGiuseppe VerdiGiacomo Puccini,   ... 
Performer:  Marcello GiordaniRenée FlemingLuciano PavarottiRoberto Alagna,   ... 
Conductor:  Terry DaviesVladimir AshkenazyHerbert von KarajanEvelino Pidň,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  OrchestraBerlin Deutsches Symphony OrchestraBerlin Philharmonic Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length:  1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Track Listing
1. Overture a Midsummer Night's Dream
2. Brindisi - Renée Fleming/Marcello Giordani (from Verdi's "La Traviata")
3. Che Gelida Manina - Luciano Pavarotti (from Puccini's "La Boheme")
4. Course of True Love, The
5. Between the Cold Moon & The Earth
6. Hot Ice
7. Forgeries of Jealousy, The
8. I Know a Place Where the Wild Thyme Blows
9. Casta Diva - Renée Fleming (from Bellini's "Norma")
10. Intermezzo
11. What Fools These Mortals Be
12. Strange Snow
13. Fair Lovers You Are Fortunately Met
14. Una Furtiva Lagrima - Roberto Alagna (from Donizetti's "L'Elisir
Read more D'Amore")
15. Wedding March
16. Most Rare Vision, A
17. Non Piu Mesta - Cecilia Bartoli (from Rossini's "La Cenerentola")

Original score composed by Simon Boswell.

Director Michael Hoffman's decision to set his film adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in turn-of-the-century Tuscany paid mixed dividends in his attempts to bring the play to the screen. While it provided an beautiful physical setting with an inherent aura of romance and passion, it made for a somewhat clumsy transition to the fairy kingdom, which doesn't respond well to the groundedness provided by such a specific historical environment. The impact of the period and location on the music, however, was an unmixed success. It allowed Hoffman to dip into the robust romantic tradition of 19th-century Italian opera, which was a happy circumstance not only for Hoffman's film but for the accompanying soundtrack album. The CD contains several gorgeous operatic compositions performed by some of the most luminous voices available. Verdi's frothy "Brindisi" is performed with playful luster by Renee Fleming and Marcello Giordani. Luciano Pavarotti follows with a heart-stoppingly powerful rendition of Puccini's "Che Gelida Manina." There are also beautiful performances of Donizetti and Rossini, but the record's brightest moment is Fleming's uncommonly exquisite "Casta Diva," a Bellini aria that movingly sets a florid soprano solo against a steady choral foundation that increases gradually in intensity. The soundtrack also includes several excerpts from Felix Mendelssohn's symphonic setting of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Which is from the wrong country, of course (Germany rather than Italy), but since it's from the right period and was written for the right play, it fits in nicely. Boswell's contribution is innovative and effective, drawing from sources as diverse as Mozart, Ravel, and the popular traditions of India, Bulgaria and Syria in an attempt to capture the ethereal and whimsical qualities of the fairy kingdom.
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Works on This Recording

A Midsummer Night's Dream by Simon Boswell
Conductor:  Terry Davies
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1999 
Midsummer Night's Dream Overture, in E major Op. 21 by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Germany 
La traviata: Libiamo ne' lieti calici "Brindisi" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Marcello Giordani (Tenor), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
La Bohčme: Che gelida manina by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Norma: Casta diva by Vincenzo Bellini
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Cavalleria Rusticana: Intermezzo by Pietro Mascagni
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
L'Elisir d'Amore: Una furtiva lagrima by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Roberto Alagna (Tenor)
Conductor:  Evelino Pidň
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61: Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
La Cenerentola: Non piů mesta by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Italy 

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