Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream/Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Vivid performances of Mendelssohn favourites. Classic FM Drive Featured Album, 19 May 2014.

Riccardo Chailly conducts the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in Mendelssohn's much-loved incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as his two piano concertos featuring the Palestinian-Israeli pianist Saleem Ashkar, who has performed the first piano concerto a number of times with Chailly and the orchestra on tour.

An added novelty on the album is the world premiere recording of Mendelssohn's commissioned overture to Ruy Blas, a Victor Hugo play that the composer hated.

Ashkar is a vibrant and stylish pianist whose love for these concertos shines through in the poetic way he plays them, and Chailly and the orchestra give solid but sensitive support.

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