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Midsummer Night's Dream

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Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (ed. Louis-Philippe Laurendeau)


This work bears the designation Opus 21.


General Info

Year: 1826 / 1904 / 1909
Duration: c. 10:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print?

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Instrumentation

Condensed Score
D-flat Piccolo
Flute
Oboe
Bassoon
E-flat Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet Solo-II
Horn in E-flat or Alto I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Euphonium
Tuba
Percussion

(Percussion instrumentation undifferentiated in score or parts)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

At two separate times, Felix Mendelssohn composed music for William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream. First in 1826, near the start of his career, he wrote a concert overture (Op. 21). Later, in 1842, only a few years before his death, he wrote incidental music (Op. 61) for a production of the play, into which he incorporated the existing overture.

The overture in E major, Op. 21, was written by Mendelssohn at 17 years and 6 months old (it was finished on 6 August 1826). Contemporary music scholar George Grove called it "the greatest marvel of early maturity that the world has ever seen in music". It was written as a concert overture, not associated with any performance of the play. The overture was written after Mendelssohn had read a German translation of the play in 1826.

While a romantic piece in atmosphere, the overture incorporates many classical elements, being cast in sonata form and shaped by regular phrasings and harmonic transitions. The piece is also noted for its striking instrumental effects, such as the emulation of scampering 'fairy feet' at the beginning and the braying of Bottom as an ass.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


Edited by Laurendeau from the original 1906 Gilmore edition.


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Scherzo (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Ambrose) (1823/2021)


All Wind Works


Resources