Magazine article Gramophone

F & F Mendelssohn: Felix Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night's Dream

Magazine article Gramophone

F & F Mendelssohn: Felix Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night's Dream

Article excerpt

F & F Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night's Dream (a)--Overture, Op 21; Incidental Music, Op 61 (exes) Fanny Mendelssohn Gondellied, Op 1 No 6 (b). Sechs Lieder, Op 9 (b)--No 2, Ferne; No 6, Die Mainacht (ab) Anna Lucia Richter sop (a) Barbara Kozelj contr (a) Pro Musica Women's Choir, Nyiregyhaza; Budapest Festival Orchestra / Ivan Fischer Channel Classics (F) [SACD] CCSSA37418 (57' * DDD/DSD * T/t)

'Humans like this music. It entertains them', Ivan Fischer writes, with quizzical humour, in a booklet note for his recording of A Midmmmer Night's Dream. 'However,' he adds, 'we made this recording for fairies. They listen differently.' The work is, of course, by no means entirely about fairy music, extraordinary though it is, and one of the delights of this performance is that it manages to blend the magical with the human in equal measure. Whether we find ourselves 'listening differently' or otherwise, there's a freshness and energy in both conducting and playing that for the most part genuinely enchants.

Fischer's ear for detail is, as one might expect, marvellously acute. The orchestral sound is ravishing, with plenty of delicacy and refinement in the gossamer textures of the Overture, and a burnished warmth in the Nocturne, where the Budapest horns sound particularly beautiful. But we're also aware of a fiercely dramatic sensibility at work throughout. A flash of menace intrudes on the quicksilver precision of the Scherzo, and there's real turbulence in the Intermezzo for the bewildered mortals trapped in Oberon's wood. …

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