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William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Soundtrack]

Simon Boswell, Renée FlemingAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Price: $19.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: April 20, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00000ILWJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,200 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Overture (from Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream")
2. Brindisi - Renee Fleming/Marcello Giordani (from Verdi's "La Traviata")
3. Che Gelida Manina - Luciano Pavarotti (from Puccini's "La Boheme")
4. The Course of True Love (Boswell)
5. Between the Cold Moon and the Earth (Boswell)
6. Hot Ice (Boswell)
7. The Forgeries of Jealousy (Boswell)
8. I Know a Place Where the Wild Thyme Blows (Boswell)
9. Casta Diva - Renee Fleming (from Bellini's "Norma")
10. Intermezzo (from Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana")
11. What Fools These Mortals Be (Boswell)
12. Strange Snow (Boswell)
13. Fair Lovers You Are Fortunately Met (from Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream")
14. Una Furtiva Lagrima - Roberto Alagna (from Donizetti's "L'Elisir d'Amore")
15. Wedding March (from Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream")
16. A Most Rare Vision (Boswell/Mascagni)
17. Non Piu Mesta - Cecilia Bartoli (from Rossini's "La Cenerentola")

Editorial Reviews

The world of meddling fairies and "amorous discord"--both frolicsome and subversive--conjured by A Midsummer Night's Dream has enchanted the imagination of many a composer, the most famous being Felix Mendelssohn. Selections from his magical evocation of Shakespeare's poetry set the tone for Michael Hoffmann's engaging new film version featuring an all-star cast. The soundtrack also takes its cue from the director's setting of the play in late 19th-century Tuscany to indulge in some of the great moments of Italian opera. Gloriously spun melodies from Verdi, Donizetti, and Bellini enrich the film's sensual texture of laden banquets and misbegotten erotic dalliances by night in the forest. In his own original score, Simon Boswell (whose other credits range from Cousin Bette to Shallow Grave) interweaves moments of neo-Puccinian poignancy for the deluded mortals with exotic, Near Eastern-tinged strains to depict the lascivious pleasures of the fairy realm. As envisioned by the director, these assume a netherworldish quality more reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm than the Italian landscape. Opera fans will also relish the presence here of two new recordings by Renée Fleming made specifically for the soundtrack, including "Casta diva," which is sung as a counterpoint of languid beauty to Shakespeare's tangled web of illusory passion. --Thomas May

Product Description

A Midsummer Nights ~ William Shakespeare's A Midsumm

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Soundtrack Worthy of This Delightful Film! April 27, 2000
By strega2
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was enchanted with this film's version of Shakespeare's most magical play, and the soundtrack was among its greatest delights. The classical pieces are superbly selected from among the most romantic in Western music, such as Mendelssohn's musical version of the play, and arias from Verdi, Puccini, Bellini and Donizetti. I was especially pleased by the inclusion of the "Intermezzo" from Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana," a gorgeous interlude in an otherwise dark opera. But I was most enthralled by the Oriental and highly original quality of Simon Boswell's score for the Fairy scenes--the contrast between the fairies' exotic music and the mortals' beautiful classical music clearly emphasized the very separate worlds that they inhabited. This score is every bit as enchanting as Shakespeare's Midsummer Night of mixed-up romance and magic!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Musical Dream: A Listening Pleasure October 24, 2003
A Kid's Review
Format:Audio CD
The soundtrack and score to this film version of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream " is a breathtaking and beautiful collection. Despite the complaint that the Flower Duet from Lakme (which was apparently featured in the trailer for this film) was not used means really nothing when you hear what they cooked up for this great musical compilation album. As we know, Shakespeare was English and in the past "A Midsummer Night Dream" movies had a very English, jolly and bouncy kind of music. Simon Boswell wanted to try something different. What he came up with was a very avant garde and fascinating musical score. He combined the music that Felix Mendelsshon composed for A Midsummer Night's Dream in the 19th century (here we get to hear the Overture and the famous Wedding March which is used in movies depicting a wedding and even on actual weddings) and Simon Boswell also gathered some bel canto Italian opera excerpts. In addition, his original music is interpolated. Simon Boswell's original music is appropriately exotic, mystic and fairy-like. After all, we are leaving the human and civilized world of the adults and into a world of tiny people in the woods. The original music sounds Hindi and Oriental, spiritual, chamber music style, a blissful integrated music of Western and Eastern.
As for the human touch, Simon Boswell (as explained in the liner notes) decided that the humans introduce opera which is foreign to the fairies- and in many cases, to us people of the pop culture of 2003. The opera he uses was appropriate and relevant in turn of the century Italy, the time the film is set. The film starred Kevin Klein, Michelle Pfeiffer and Calista Flockheart, a group of Edwardians who are tangled up in a chaotic romantic mess in the woods. The selections from the operas here are excellent.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone's all upset about Yanni.... February 10, 2000
Format:Audio CD
If you want Yanni, buy a Yanni CD. OK? If you want beautiful classical melodies written by Mendelsohn and wonderful, REAL, arias and duets sung by the incomparable Cecilia Bartoli, Renee Fleming et al, then buy this CD. It's amazing. Everyone I know loves it, whether their primary musical interest is classical or not - mine isn't.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Flower Duet for the trailer July 3, 2001
By walkure
Format:Audio CD
This is for those who are searching for the song featured in the trailer. I bought the True Romance soundtrack for the Howard Blake arrangement of the Flower Duet (viens mallika) written by Delibes. It turned out to be the same arrangement as used in the soundtrack for the movie The Hunger starring David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve. It doesn't sound like the version I heard on the trailer. I also checked out the Luminaire version but it was more of a techno track with some floating vocals from the duet. Again, not quite what I had expected. There is also a remix of Luminaire's version by Jonathan Peters called "Flower Duet '99" but I haven't heard it (yet). I finally searched through which has a section identifying music used just for trailers. This identified the Flower Duet as the arrangement by Yanni. I do have one of Yanni's CDs which has a song called "Aria" - I had bought it specifically for the Flower Duet. It does sound quite similar to the trailer version but I can't be sure - somehow the beat in the trailer is stronger and faster (a slightly speeded-up and remixed version?). Anyway, the Yanni version "Aria" is available on some of his CDs. If you're interested, there's even a live version of "Aria" in his Live at the Acropolis CD. For those who have to get every non-operatic version of this, there is also the Malcolm McLaren arrangement (in a compilation CD) which was rather effectively used quite some time ago in the British Airways ads.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Midsummer Night's Dream May 23, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This CD is absolutely great! Even people who don't like classical music will like it. Superstars Cecilia Bartoli, Pavarotti,Renee Fleming and Roberto Alagna are at their best!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never knew opera until now December 2, 1999
Format:Audio CD
saw the movie, loved it. got the soundtrack, been an opera fan ever since it's really really great study music what else can i say? oh yeah, purchase this sdtk, it's a good investment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Avant-Garde Music August 31, 2002
A Kid's Review
Format:Audio CD
Simon Boswell's movie was a brilliant new twist on the Shakespeare classic. Set in turn of the century Italy, the soundtrack combines opera and excerpts from Mendelsshon's Midsummer Night's Dream (Overture, Nocturne, Wedding March). The Italian opera used here is brand-name stuff, and featuring the most greatest rendition of "Casta Diva" by modern opera star Renee Fleming(in my opinion, her rendition is by far the best), Cecilia Bartoli singing the finale to Rossini's Cenerentola, and a likeable Brindisi from La Traviata, as well as "Una Furtiva Lagrima" from Donizetti's Elisir D'Amore. The rest of the music is original, a blend of romanticism and Hindi exoticism. I highly recommend for you to watch the film first and then listen to the soundtrack. This is for people who love romantic music and wish to fill their hearts with breathtakingly beautiful music. Can also make an excellent wedding reception music. Viva Romance!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautful music for a classic story
This lovely version of the Shakespeare tale is imaginative, creative, and wildly beautiful. The use of both opera and classic music adds to the drama, the fun, the subtle humor of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Tina L. Loflin
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Music
Nice music. I purchased this item after seeing the movie. Fun movie and great music. I recommended this item as a buy.
Published 20 months ago by Camp Hill Grandma
5.0 out of 5 stars Midsummer Night's Dream Film Music
Delightful and brilliantly chosen music, from the works of Mendelssohn, Verdi and Puccini, among others, which acompanies the equally brilliant film adaptation of Shakepeare's... Read more
Published on March 31, 2009 by Mr
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
I saw the movie, which was excellent, and wanted the soundtrack. The music is beautiful, and it's so nice to hear the complete versions of songs that you only heard bits of in the... Read more
Published on October 28, 2008 by Mrs. Entity
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece beyond words
This is and elegant peice of artwork! The music adds a feeling of love, magic, and beauty. This is one of the best classical/Soudtrack CD I have ever heard. Read more
Published on February 13, 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars The Flower Duet Song.
This is an excellent CD, I am an actor and we are using this CD for our own production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream. Read more
Published on March 4, 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Good but Not Great
The music set to Midsummer Night's Dream arranged here by Boswell yields good things but is not entirely great. Read more
Published on October 1, 2000 by Rudy Avila
4.0 out of 5 stars I've got it - THE SONG
The song is from Leo Delibes's opera LAKME, entitled "Viens Mallika...Sous le dome Epais." On some recordings it is listed as "Flower Duet. Read more
Published on February 22, 2000 by buttercup
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