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About the program

Without any special occasion, the 17-year-old Mendelssohn wrote an orchestral overture for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The piece brought overnight fame to a composer who, despite his age, was well past his search for a direction—past, in fact, a series of brilliant works—and was a seasoned master. Sixteen years later, Prussian king Frederick William IV commissioned him to write incidental music for Shakespeare’s drama, and Mendelssohn complied in 1842-43. The piece, which was presented in Potsdam in October 1843, in the presence of the court and select guests, went on to be “compulsory” for productions of the play for a long time, and its suite version became a concert hall sensation. Our concert presents the complete incidental music.


Felix Mendelssohn: Violin concerto, Op. 64
Felix Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Iván Fischer


Pinchas Zukerman, violin
Anna Lucia Richter, soprano
Barbara Kozelj, mezzo-soprano