First (private) performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Mendelssohn’s music, Potsdam, 14 October 1843. Ferdinand Hiller recalls…
“It is characteristic of Mendelssohn’s views that he should have been very much excited after the performance, and this from a twofold cause. It had been arranged, according to his wish, that the whole thing, with the entr’actes, should be played without any pause whatsoever*, as in his opinion this was indispensable for the proper effect.
“Nevertheless, not only was a long pause introduced, but it was made use of to offer all kinds of refreshments to the people in the front rows belonging to the Court, so that a full half-hour was taken up with loud talking and moving about, whilst the rest of the audience, who were quite as much invited, though perhaps only tolerated, were sitting in discomfort, and had to beguile the time as best they could. This disregard of artistic considerations, as well as common civility, so enraged Mendelssohn that he hardly took any notice of all the fine things that we had to say to him.”
from Mendelssohn Remembered, edited by Roger Nichols
*Thomasina would have you remember that M hated applause between movements and deliberately wrote his Scottish Symphony with segues between the movements so that applause would be impossible.
Thomasina also observes that Mendelssohn’s preference would be one way of eliminating overtime.