1842: Mendelssohn: A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Scherzo, Op. 21, age 33 EARLY

MONDAY, November 23, 2020 – 11:59 AM

A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Scherzo, age 33

This has the same name, but it was written about 16 years later as part of something much larger and is part of “Incidental Music” for music of the same name.

Orchestration:

  • 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons
  • 2 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba
  • timpani, cymbals, triangle,
  • strings

Valery Gergiev

I call him the “mad Russian” because he always looks like he’s ending a minor bender, but he is a fiery conductor who is always interesting to listen to.

Jane Glover

I know nothing about this lady, but this is simply very good.

Seiji Ozawa

This is as clean as a whistle, but there is a slight annoyance at the end where you hear a voice breaking in, Judi Dench. Why? Because this is really part of a much longer dramatic whole, and this scherzo is just between acts, but it’s really annoying.

Nikolai Lugansky

This is a transcription by Rachmaninov, and it’s impossibly difficult. This man has never done anything slower and more musical to totally please me, because he’s just an incredible virtuoso who is not, in my mind, terribly original or musical, but in this kind of thing he pretty much can’t be beat.

Charles Rosen

This is a bit slower and not quite so perfect, but it has really sharp accents and frankly reminds more of Horowitz, and I prefer it. There is just more here, which is hard to describe. Rosen has a fascinating story altogether.

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