Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Wagner / Ormandy, Philadelphia

Release Date: 4/8/2010
Label: RCA
Catalog Number: RCA38285
Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

Low Stock
Notes and Editorial Reviews
*** This title is a reissue of a Japanese release with liner notes in Japanese. ***

The distinctive point about Ormandy's version of the Midsummer Night's Dream music is that the vocal sections are given in German. On the sleeve the producer notes the significant point that in the Schlegel-Tieck translation "You spotted snakes" becomes "Bunte Schlartgen", and that Mendelssohn wrote it with two quavers instead of quaver plus two semi-quavers at the beginning of the phrase. It was for a Berlin performance that Mendelssohn wrote his extra incidental music, and therefore there is an historic case, too, for preferring Schlegel-Tieck to Shakespeare... [W]ith finely disciplined playing from the Philadelphians, Ormandy is a fraction heavier [than Previn and Leppard], less playful, but the discrepancy is slight, and with such glorious sound recorded fully and richly with plenty of inner detail, no one will feel disappointed... Both Previn and Leppard include even the briefest melodramas, where Ormandy omits three of them (No. 4 before the Intermezzo, No. 10 before the ironic "Funeral March" and No. 12 before the finale, all of them very brief). The last one consists of a fragment of the "Wedding March" fading into the distance to be followed by fairy music, and I am sorry to lose it. Instead Ormandy opts to transpose the Melodrama No. 8 to that point with a fragment of the "Nocturne" plus a radiant violin descant.

The casual listener may well not register any of these details, and certainly the Ormandy record, beautifully played and recorded, can be confidently recommended...

-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [6/1978, reviewing the original LP release of the Mendelssohn]
Works on This Recording
1. Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer: Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano), Judith Blegen (Soprano)
Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
Period: Romantic
Written: 1842 ; Germany
2. Der fliegende Holländer: Overture by Richard Wagner
Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1841/1852 ; Germany
3. Lohengrin: Act 3 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1847 ; Germany
Customer Reviews