High praise for Gardiner’s Mendelssohn

In the lead up to their annual awards ceremonies next week, French classical music monthlies Classica and Diapason have announced the winners of their CHOC and d’Or de l’année prizes and it’s good news for the LSO! 

Performed alongside Sir John Eliot Gardiner, his Monteverdi Choir and three up-and-coming actors from the Guildhall School, LSO Live’s recording of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been awarded Symphonic Recording of the Year by both publications.

Captured in February 2016 as part of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the release marks the penultimate recording in Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s acclaimed Mendelssohn cycle, a three-year project brought to a close in September 2017 with his rendition of the composer’s Lobgesang.

Mendelssohn, who adored Shakespeare, composed his concert overture based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1827 when he was only 17 years-old, prompting music scholar George Grove to describe the impressive feat as ‘the greatest marvel of early maturity that the world has ever seen in music.’ Almost twenty years later, the German composer would pen the play’s incidental music, including his famous Wedding March, incorporating the very same Overture he had written in his teens.

In this recording, Gardiner ‘[focuses] on the world of the fairies and the human lovers’, choosing to ‘[remove] all of the music relating to the Mechanicals.’ Following its release in early February, the conductor’s whimsical account has been met with high praise globally.

Keep an eye out on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds for behind-the-scenes photos of next week’s award ceremonies; in the meantime, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is available for physical and digital purchase at LSO Live and iTunes, as well as streaming on Apple Music and Spotify. For more information, visit: http://smarturl.it/amsnd