- The Hebrides, overture for orchestra in B minor ("Fingal's Cave"), Op. 26
- A Midsummer Night's Dream, incidental music, Op. 61
Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dreamby Philippe Herreweghe
This 1994 recording of most of Mendelssohn's incidental music from Ein Sommernachtstraum coupled with his Fingal's "Cave Overture" was one of Philippe Herreweghe's first with the Orchestre des Champs Elysées, one of the first French romantic period instrument orchestras, and it was almost but not quite a success. While the Orchestre's sound is fresh and appealing with characterful winds, warm brass, and sweet strings, it is also an odd and sometimes ungainly sound with perhaps overly pungent clarinets and bassoons, possibly overly raw horns and surely occasionally scrappy strings. And while Herreweghe is clearly an adept and insightful conductor and these performances are full of wonderful touches -- the shades of color in the Nocturne for example, or the hints of parody in Marcia funebre -- he can't altogether manage to unify the performance and the piece tends toward sprawl. Still, the disc is worth hearing by those who know and love the works -- and that, of course, should include every fan of nineteenth century German Romantic music -- if for no other reason than to hear an approximation of the sound of Mendelssohn's orchestrations performed on period instruments. Harmonia Mundi's sound is clear but oddly hollow, big but irrefutably empty.
- Release Date:
- Harmonia Mundi Fr.
Performance CreditsPhilippe Herreweghe Primary Artist
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