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This performance is considered one of the best (if not the best) of Mendelssohn’s delightful score. The sound of Kingsway Hall, as recorded by Kenneth Wilkinson, is spacious and detailed with startling presence. The sound stage stretches wall to wall with seemingly infinite depth. Many years ago, I owned a copy of the London LP (CS 6001). It was beat up and scratched, but I loved it dearly. This tape has all of the warmth and tube sound of that LP with none of the noise or distortion. Highly recommended!
Sounds better than ever on this DSD-processed CD
My comparison is with a fine-sounding 20 year old DECCA CD (remastered at 96kHZ / 24 bit and and coupled with Maag's DECCA Mendelssohn Symphony 3). As fine as that sounded this DSD CD transfer by HDTT was immediately perceived by my wife and me to have a greater airiness and fullness in massed string passages - which are common in Mendelssohn. I wonder how it would sound in DVD-A (not offered by HDTT for this piece) or in their highest resolution streaming option.
Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night's Dream - Maag The London Symphony Orchestra (Pure DSD)
Fascinating, fabulous music, brilliant performance and great recording! In my opinion, this is the best reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Listening to Peter Maag The London Symphony Orchestra feels like in the middle of a fairy tale. Thanks to HDTT for the opportunity to plunge into the fabulous world of music!
Although it may not seem possible, this might be a bit better than the same forces Scottish Symphony/Hebrides Overture pairing. The difference between the HDTT and every previous issue of this recording, which has deservedly never been out of print, is the sense of air and space around each instrument and choir. Even Mendelssohn's delicate scoring for the "Ophicleide" (now played on a tuba) comes through. What is also clear is the love and care with which every member of the LSO lavishes on his or her part. They play with as much care and love as if Monteux were on the podium, despite Maag's only being an "up and coming" conductor at the time. This is simply as good as it gets, and includes all of the wonderful vocal numbers. Bravo!!
Taught me how "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is great
Until I hear this performance, I didn't have enough knowledge and interest with "A Midsummer Night's Dream". LSO, Maag and HDTT changed everything. Now, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is one of my favorites!
Title: Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Incidental Music)
Artist(s): Peter Maag conducting The London Symphony Orchestra
Soprano Vocals – Jennifer Vyvyan, Marion Lowe
Chorus – Female Chorus Of The Royal Opera House, Of The Covent Garden
Recording Info: Transferred from a 15ips 2-track tape
Recorded by Decca 27-28 Feb 1957 at Kingsway Hall, London
Producer: James Walker Engineer: Cyril Windebank
1 Overture Op. 21 11:45
2 Scherzo, Op. 61 No. 1 4:33
3 You Spotted Snakes, Op. 61 No. 3 4:23
4 Intermezzo, Op. 61 No. 5 3:30
5 Nocturne, Op. 61 No. 7 6:20
6 Wedding March, Op. 61 No. 9 4:25
7 Dance Of The Clowns, Op. 61 No. 11 1:45
8 Finale, Op. 61 No. 12 3:52
Total Time: 40:33