A number of pop/rock artists, including Paul McCartney and Sting, have dabbled in classical music with mixed results. Rocker Elvis Costello accepted a commission from the Italian dance company Aterballetto to score their adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream titled Il Sogno ("the dream" in Italian). This was his first work composed for orchestra, and it displays both his knowledge of music composition and his eclectic musical style.
The feel of the piece swings from classical to jazz club to Broadway musical. Listen for the rhythms from the pop classic On Broadway or hints of West Side Story. This is NOT Swan Lake! I enjoyed the frequent changes in style, and the music remained interesting throughout. Since the recording is divided in to tracks, I could easily return to my favorite parts.
This is the world-premiere recording of Il Sogno, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, released in 2004. Both the performance and sound quality are excellent.