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17 tracks 67 min
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Classical music by great composers inspired by fairies

Music inspired by fairies and fairy tales, from the magical soundworld of Mendelssohn's Scherzo from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' to Tchaikovsky's 'Nutcracker', fairy tales from Rimsky Korsakov's 'Sheherazade', and Debussy's evocative 'Dance of Puck'.

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Fairy Music
Classical music by the great composers inspired by fairies

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809-1847)

1 Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream
Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Christian Rainer

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
The Nutcracker

2 Little Overture
3 March
4 Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
5 Russian Dance (Trepak)
6 Arab Dance
7 Chinese Dance
8 Dance of the Reed Flutes
9 Flower Waltz
South German Philharmonic Orchestra, Alfred Scholz

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

10 Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Igor Markevich

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov

11 The Young Prince and the Young Princess from Sheherazade
Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Bystrik Rezucha

Claude Debussy

12 The Dance of Puck
Martin Souter

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The Sleeping Beauty
13 Introduction
14 Pas d'action
15 Panorama
16 Valse
17 Finale
Philharmonia Orchestra, Lawrence Siegel

This compilation c and p 1998 Classical Communications

Total playing time approximately 67 minutes 31 seconds

Cover picture: Midsummer Eve by Edward Robert Hughes (1851-1914) Fine Art Photographic Library Ltd


Fairy Music
Classical music by the great composers inspired by fairies

Over hill, over dale,
Through bush, through briar,
Over park, over pale,
Through flood, through fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere….

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream


Fairies and mythical creatures have inspired musicians around the world through many centuries. Indeed, myth and magic, kings and queens, princes and princesses form an integral part of the culture and story-telling of most nations. Stories which began as crucial myths for a race or nation have today become children's stories which still fascinate adults.

Elements of fairy stories and the supernatural found their way into many stage works and literature in the nineteenth century, which in turn led composers on new flights of musical fancy. Many of the pieces on this album have their artistic origins in stage works. Mendelssohn's incidental music for 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' was composed at the request of the King of Saxony as part of a series of musical settings for Shakespeare plays. The fairies and mythical creatures of Shakespeare's play (including King Oberon and Queen Titania) are expressed by Mendelssohn in sparkling, brilliant music.

Tchaikovsky's ballets are amongst the best-known classical works of all time. 'The Nutcracker' features several magical figures including the famous Sugar Plum Fairy. 'Sleeping Beauty' has several fairies in the plot, including those most famously developed into rather homely characters by the Walt Disney film of the story. The film score uses Tchaikovsky's extraordinarily beautiful music in a rich arrangement including a famous song developed from the waltz (track 16).

Debussy's famous prelude (track 10) tells the story of a faun (a small, mythical rural creature with horns and a tail) dreaming in a summer field. The work is based on a poem by Mallarmé and was first heard in 1895. The 'Dance of Puck' is one of a dozen impressionistic piano preludes which Debussy composed in the early years of the twentieth century. The dance is a wonderful evocation of the free and unpredictable spirit of Puck, the court jester to Oberon and Titania. Rimsky Korsakov's 'Sheherazade' was inspired by tales of myth and magic from the '1001 Nights', a collection of stories told by the slave girl Sheherazade to amuse her master and to save her own life.


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