Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream was written in 1842, on a commission from King Frederick William IV of Prussia. The king was inspired by a presentation of Sophocles’s Antigone which featured music by Mendelssohn, and was the first of several commissions for the composer to write music to accompany the king’s favorite plays. It’s interesting to note that the work’s dazzling overture was actually written a full sixteen years earlier, and was not originally intended to be performed in conjunction with Shakespeare’s play. This recording from Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra captures the magical spirit of the music. The program is complemented by three orchestral songs of Fanny Mendelssohn.