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.

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

Cat composer Alexander Livitsanos

This utterly adorable kitten is the ultimate distraction from work

chocolate bar musical taste

Can we guess your favourite chocolate bar from your favourite composer?

broken e-string violin

This clip captures the sheer horror of an E-string snapping halfway through a live radio broadcast