Felix Mendelssohn
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1809-02-03
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/0e85eb79-1c05-44ba-827c-7b259a3d941a
Felix Mendelssohn Felix Mendelssohn Felix Mendelssohn Felix Mendelssohn

Biography

Felix Mendelssohn – grandson of an eminent Jewish philosopher and son of a wealthy banker who converted to Christianity – came from a happy and privileged background. The family home in Berlin was a lively intellectual centre and Felix’s education ...

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Clips (20)


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Felix Mendelssohn, Jerzy Maksymiuk & BBC Scottish S O
Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.56 (Scottish)
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Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.56 (Scottish) Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.56 (Scottish) Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.56 (Scottish) Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.56 (Scottish)
Felix Mendelssohn, Philharmonia Orchestra & Otto Klemperer
Italian Symphony
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Italian Symphony Italian Symphony Italian Symphony Italian Symphony
Felix Mendelssohn & Francesco Piemontesi
Songs Without Words: Book 3, Op.38, No.6: Andante con moto in A-flat major 'Duetto'
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Songs Without Words: Book 3, Op.38, No.6: Andante con moto in A-flat major 'Duetto' Songs Without Words: Book 3, Op.38, No.6: Andante con moto in A-flat major 'Duetto' Songs Without Words: Book 3, Op.38, No.6: Andante con moto in A-flat major 'Duetto' Songs Without Words: Book 3, Op.38, No.6: Andante con moto in A-flat major 'Duetto'
Felix Mendelssohn & Francesco Piemontesi
Songs Without Words: Book 8, Op.102, No.5: Allegro vivace in A major
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Songs Without Words: Book 8, Op.102, No.5: Allegro vivace in A major Songs Without Words: Book 8, Op.102, No.5: Allegro vivace in A major Songs Without Words: Book 8, Op.102, No.5: Allegro vivace in A major Songs Without Words: Book 8, Op.102, No.5: Allegro vivace in A major
Felix Mendelssohn & Francesco Piemontesi
Songs Without Words: Book 2, Op.30, No.4: Agitato e con fuoco in B minor
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Songs Without Words: Book 2, Op.30, No.4: Agitato e con fuoco in B minor Songs Without Words: Book 2, Op.30, No.4: Agitato e con fuoco in B minor Songs Without Words: Book 2, Op.30, No.4: Agitato e con fuoco in B minor Songs Without Words: Book 2, Op.30, No.4: Agitato e con fuoco in B minor
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Felix Mendelssohn & Christoph von Dohnányi
The Hebrides Overture Op.26
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The Hebrides Overture Op.26 The Hebrides Overture Op.26 The Hebrides Overture Op.26 The Hebrides Overture Op.26
Felix Mendelssohn, Gewandhaus Orchestra & Riccardo Chailly
Scherzo (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61 No.1)
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Scherzo (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61 No.1) Scherzo (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61 No.1) Scherzo (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61 No.1) Scherzo (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61 No.1)
Felix Mendelssohn, London Symphony Orchestra & Claudio Abbado
Ruy Blas Overture
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Ruy Blas Overture Ruy Blas Overture Ruy Blas Overture Ruy Blas Overture
Felix Mendelssohn & Artemis Quartet
Quartet no.3 in D major Op.44'1 for Strings - 4th mvt 'Presto'
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Quartet no.3 in D major Op.44'1 for Strings - 4th mvt 'Presto' Quartet no.3 in D major Op.44'1 for Strings - 4th mvt 'Presto' Quartet no.3 in D major Op.44'1 for Strings - 4th mvt 'Presto' Quartet no.3 in D major Op.44'1 for Strings - 4th mvt 'Presto'
Felix Mendelssohn, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Bryn Terfel & Paul Daniel
Elijah Op.70 - It is Enough
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Elijah Op.70 - It is Enough Elijah Op.70 - It is Enough Elijah Op.70 - It is Enough Elijah Op.70 - It is Enough
Felix Mendelssohn & Julius Drake
Lieder ohne Worte - book 2 (Op.30), no.6; Venetianisches Gondellied...
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Lieder ohne Worte - book 2 (Op.30), no.6; Venetianisches Gondellied... Lieder ohne Worte - book 2 (Op.30), no.6; Venetianisches Gondellied... Lieder ohne Worte - book 2 (Op.30), no.6; Venetianisches Gondellied... Lieder ohne Worte - book 2 (Op.30), no.6; Venetianisches Gondellied...
Schubert, Murray Perahia, Franz Liszt & Felix Mendelssohn
Auf dem Wasser zu singen
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Auf dem Wasser zu singen Auf dem Wasser zu singen Auf dem Wasser zu singen Auf dem Wasser zu singen
The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Felix Mendelssohn & Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Symphony no. 3 (Op.56) in A minor "Scottish", 2nd mvt; Vivace non troppo
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Symphony no. 3 (Op.56) in A minor "Scottish", 2nd mvt; Vivace non troppo Symphony no. 3 (Op.56) in A minor "Scottish", 2nd mvt; Vivace non troppo Symphony no. 3 (Op.56) in A minor "Scottish", 2nd mvt; Vivace non troppo Symphony no. 3 (Op.56) in A minor "Scottish", 2nd mvt; Vivace non troppo
Felix Mendelssohn, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment & Sir Charles Mackerras
Intermezzo from A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music (Op.61)
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Intermezzo from A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music (Op.61) Intermezzo from A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music (Op.61) Intermezzo from A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music (Op.61) Intermezzo from A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music (Op.61)
Mikhail Pletnev & Felix Mendelssohn
Andante cantabile
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Andante cantabile Andante cantabile Andante cantabile Andante cantabile
Wolfgang Meyer, Felix Mendelssohn, Sabine Meyer, Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn & Jörg Faerber
Konzertstuck for clarinet, basset horn and orchestra No.1, Op.113
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Konzertstuck for clarinet, basset horn and orchestra No.1, Op.113 Konzertstuck for clarinet, basset horn and orchestra No.1, Op.113 Konzertstuck for clarinet, basset horn and orchestra No.1, Op.113 Konzertstuck for clarinet, basset horn and orchestra No.1, Op.113
Felix Mendelssohn & Sylviane Deferne
Fantasia on an Irish song "The last rose of summer" for piano (Op.15)
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Fantasia on an Irish song "The last rose of summer" for piano (Op.15) Fantasia on an Irish song "The last rose of summer" for piano (Op.15) Fantasia on an Irish song "The last rose of summer" for piano (Op.15) Fantasia on an Irish song "The last rose of summer" for piano (Op.15)
Felix Mendelssohn, Bergen filharmoniske orkester & Simone Young
Meeresstille und gluckliche Fahrt - Overture (Op. 27)
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Meeresstille und gluckliche Fahrt - Overture (Op. 27) Meeresstille und gluckliche Fahrt - Overture (Op. 27) Meeresstille und gluckliche Fahrt - Overture (Op. 27) Meeresstille und gluckliche Fahrt - Overture (Op. 27)
Members of Australian Chamber Orchestra & Felix Mendelssohn
Octet for strings (Op.20) in E flat major, 3rd movement; Scherzo
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Octet for strings (Op.20) in E flat major, 3rd movement; Scherzo Octet for strings (Op.20) in E flat major, 3rd movement; Scherzo Octet for strings (Op.20) in E flat major, 3rd movement; Scherzo Octet for strings (Op.20) in E flat major, 3rd movement; Scherzo
Felix Mendelssohn, BBC National Orchestra of Wales & Richard Hickox
The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) - overture (Op.26)
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The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) - overture (Op.26) The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) - overture (Op.26) The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) - overture (Op.26) The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) - overture (Op.26)
Felix Mendelssohn, André Previn & London Symphony Orchestra
A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music (Op.61), no.7; Nocturne
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A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music (Op.61), no.7; Nocturne A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music (Op.61), no.7; Nocturne A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music (Op.61), no.7; Nocturne A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music (Op.61), no.7; Nocturne
Ksenija Sidorova, Felix Mendelssohn & A. Sevast'yan
Scherzo from a Midsummer Night's Dream
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Scherzo from a Midsummer Night's Dream Scherzo from a Midsummer Night's Dream Scherzo from a Midsummer Night's Dream Scherzo from a Midsummer Night's Dream
János Starker, György Sebök & Felix Mendelssohn
Variations concertantes
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Variations concertantes Variations concertantes Variations concertantes Variations concertantes
Felix Mendelssohn & Brentano
Quartet Op. 12
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Quartet Op. 12 Quartet Op. 12 Quartet Op. 12 Quartet Op. 12
Vienna Piano Trio & Felix Mendelssohn
Trio for piano and strings no. 1 (Op.49) in D minor, 3rd mvt; Scherzo
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Trio for piano and strings no. 1 (Op.49) in D minor, 3rd mvt; Scherzo Trio for piano and strings no. 1 (Op.49) in D minor, 3rd mvt; Scherzo Trio for piano and strings no. 1 (Op.49) in D minor, 3rd mvt; Scherzo Trio for piano and strings no. 1 (Op.49) in D minor, 3rd mvt; Scherzo
Alina Ibragimova, Felix Mendelssohn, BBC Symphony Orchestra & Sakari Oramo
Violin concerto in E minor, Op.64
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Violin concerto in E minor, Op.64 Violin concerto in E minor, Op.64 Violin concerto in E minor, Op.64 Violin concerto in E minor, Op.64
Wiener Philharmoniker, Felix Mendelssohn & Christoph von Dohnányi
Symphony no. 4 (Op.90) in A major "Italian", 1st movement; Allegro vivace
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Symphony no. 4 (Op.90) in A major "Italian", 1st movement; Allegro vivace Symphony no. 4 (Op.90) in A major "Italian", 1st movement; Allegro vivace Symphony no. 4 (Op.90) in A major "Italian", 1st movement; Allegro vivace Symphony no. 4 (Op.90) in A major "Italian", 1st movement; Allegro vivace
Denis Comtet, Felix Mendelssohn, Donald Palumbo & Chœur de Radio France
Hora est for chorus and organ (antiphon and responsorium)
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Hora est for chorus and organ (antiphon and responsorium) Hora est for chorus and organ (antiphon and responsorium) Hora est for chorus and organ (antiphon and responsorium) Hora est for chorus and organ (antiphon and responsorium)
Wiener Philharmoniker, Felix Mendelssohn & Christoph von Dohnányi
Athalie - incidental music (Op.74), War march of the priests
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Athalie - incidental music (Op.74), War march of the priests Athalie - incidental music (Op.74), War march of the priests Athalie - incidental music (Op.74), War march of the priests Athalie - incidental music (Op.74), War march of the priests
Felix Mendelssohn, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest & Hiroyuki Iwaki
Ruy Blas - overture (Op.95)
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Ruy Blas - overture (Op.95) Ruy Blas - overture (Op.95) Ruy Blas - overture (Op.95) Ruy Blas - overture (Op.95)
Wolfgang Meyer, Felix Mendelssohn, Sabine Meyer, Academy of St Martin in the Fields & Kenneth Sillito
Konzertstuck No. 1 in F minor for clarinet, basset horn & orchestra
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Konzertstuck No. 1 in F minor for clarinet, basset horn & orchestra Konzertstuck No. 1 in F minor for clarinet, basset horn & orchestra Konzertstuck No. 1 in F minor for clarinet, basset horn & orchestra Konzertstuck No. 1 in F minor for clarinet, basset horn & orchestra
Felix Mendelssohn, Berliner Philharmoniker & Claudio Abbado
Symphony no. 4 (Op.90) in A major "Italian", 4th movement; Saltarello (Presto)
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Symphony no. 4 (Op.90) in A major "Italian", 4th movement; Saltarello (Presto) Symphony no. 4 (Op.90) in A major "Italian", 4th movement; Saltarello (Presto) Symphony no. 4 (Op.90) in A major "Italian", 4th movement; Saltarello (Presto) Symphony no. 4 (Op.90) in A major "Italian", 4th movement; Saltarello (Presto)
Felix Mendelssohn & Sylviane Deferne
3 Studies Op.104b for piano
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3 Studies Op.104b for piano 3 Studies Op.104b for piano 3 Studies Op.104b for piano 3 Studies Op.104b for piano
Felix Mendelssohn
Song Without Words Op19 No.1 for violin and piano
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Song Without Words Op19 No.1 for violin and piano Song Without Words Op19 No.1 for violin and piano Song Without Words Op19 No.1 for violin and piano Song Without Words Op19 No.1 for violin and piano
Felix Mendelssohn & The Nash Ensemble
Octet In E Flat Major
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Octet In E Flat Major Octet In E Flat Major Octet In E Flat Major Octet In E Flat Major
Daniel Barenboim & Felix Mendelssohn
Song without words op. 30 no. 1
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Song without words op. 30 no. 1 Song without words op. 30 no. 1 Song without words op. 30 no. 1 Song without words op. 30 no. 1
Felix Mendelssohn & New Zealand Quartet
Scherzo from Quartet No.5 in E flat (OP.44, No. 3)
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Scherzo from Quartet No.5 in E flat (OP.44, No. 3) Scherzo from Quartet No.5 in E flat (OP.44, No. 3) Scherzo from Quartet No.5 in E flat (OP.44, No. 3) Scherzo from Quartet No.5 in E flat (OP.44, No. 3)
Elise Batnes, Ernst Simon Glaser, Katrine oigaard, Felix Mendelssohn, Lars Anders Tomter, Johannes Gustavsson & Enrico Pace
Sextet for piano and strings in D major, Op.110
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Sextet for piano and strings in D major, Op.110 Sextet for piano and strings in D major, Op.110 Sextet for piano and strings in D major, Op.110 Sextet for piano and strings in D major, Op.110
Felix Mendelssohn, City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & Edward Gardner
Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.56 (Scottish): 2nd mvt; Vivace non troppo
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Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.56 (Scottish): 2nd mvt; Vivace non troppo Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.56 (Scottish): 2nd mvt; Vivace non troppo Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.56 (Scottish): 2nd mvt; Vivace non troppo Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.56 (Scottish): 2nd mvt; Vivace non troppo
Felix Mendelssohn, Julian Rachlin & Orchestra della Svizzera italiana
Symphony No4 in A (Italian)
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Symphony No4 in A (Italian) Symphony No4 in A (Italian) Symphony No4 in A (Italian) Symphony No4 in A (Italian)
Felix Mendelssohn, Jiří Bělohlávek & BBC Symphony Orchestra
Ruy Blas - overture (Op.95)
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Ruy Blas - overture (Op.95) Ruy Blas - overture (Op.95) Ruy Blas - overture (Op.95) Ruy Blas - overture (Op.95)
Daniel Hope, Felix Mendelssohn, The Chamber Orchestra of Europe & Thomas Hengelbrock
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64 - 3rd mvt
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Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64 - 3rd mvt Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64 - 3rd mvt Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64 - 3rd mvt Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64 - 3rd mvt
Nokuthula Ngwenyama, Michael Wais, Felix Mendelssohn, Wu Han, Philip Setzer, Cynthia Phelps & Carter Brey
Sextet for piano and strings (Op.110) in D major
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Sextet for piano and strings (Op.110) in D major Sextet for piano and strings (Op.110) in D major Sextet for piano and strings (Op.110) in D major Sextet for piano and strings (Op.110) in D major
Felix Mendelssohn, Sir John Eliot Gardiner & London Symphony Orchestra
Overture - Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Op.27
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Overture - Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Op.27 Overture - Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Op.27 Overture - Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Op.27 Overture - Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Op.27
Felix Mendelssohn, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig & Kurt Masur
Symphony No. 5 in D, Op. 107 'Reformation'
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Symphony No. 5 in D, Op. 107 'Reformation' Symphony No. 5 in D, Op. 107 'Reformation' Symphony No. 5 in D, Op. 107 'Reformation' Symphony No. 5 in D, Op. 107 'Reformation'
Felix Mendelssohn, Steven Isserlis & Stephen Hough
Sonata No. 2 In D Major Op.58 For Cello And Piano (iii. Adagio)
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Sonata No. 2 In D Major Op.58 For Cello And Piano (iii. Adagio) Sonata No. 2 In D Major Op.58 For Cello And Piano (iii. Adagio) Sonata No. 2 In D Major Op.58 For Cello And Piano (iii. Adagio) Sonata No. 2 In D Major Op.58 For Cello And Piano (iii. Adagio)
Felix Mendelssohn & Trio Dali
Trio No. 2 In C Minor Op.66 For Piano And Strings (iii. Scherzo)
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Trio No. 2 In C Minor Op.66 For Piano And Strings (iii. Scherzo) Trio No. 2 In C Minor Op.66 For Piano And Strings (iii. Scherzo) Trio No. 2 In C Minor Op.66 For Piano And Strings (iii. Scherzo) Trio No. 2 In C Minor Op.66 For Piano And Strings (iii. Scherzo)
Felix Mendelssohn & Sitkovetsky Trio
Trio No. 2 In C Minor Op.66 For Piano And Strings (i. Opening)
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Trio No. 2 In C Minor Op.66 For Piano And Strings (i. Opening) Trio No. 2 In C Minor Op.66 For Piano And Strings (i. Opening) Trio No. 2 In C Minor Op.66 For Piano And Strings (i. Opening) Trio No. 2 In C Minor Op.66 For Piano And Strings (i. Opening)
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Biography

Felix Mendelssohn – grandson of an eminent Jewish philosopher and son of a wealthy banker who converted to Christianity – came from a happy and privileged background. The family home in Berlin was a lively intellectual centre and Felix’s education covered classics, science, languages, law and several other subjects besides music.

From the age of 11 he composed fluently and prolifically: a huge quantity of piano and chamber music, five concertos, a few little operas and a dozen symphonies for strings preceded his official Symphony No. 1 of 1824. Then came the works that demonstrated not just precocious talent but real depth, among them the Octet for strings (1825) and, a year later, the Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

In his early twenties, beginning in 1829 with the first of his many visits to England, he spent three years travelling around Europe, meeting almost every cultural figure of note. His sensitivity to the spirit of the places he visited can be heard in such works as the ‘Italian’ and ‘Scottish’ Symphonies and the overture The Hebrides.

From 1833 to 1835 he worked mainly in Düsseldorf, and then from 1835 until his early death he was Municipal Music Director and conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, where in 1843 he founded the influential Conservatory. He was outstanding as a pianist, organist, conductor and organiser, and tireless in promoting other composers’ music old and new – famously reviving Bach’s St Matthew Passion in 1829 and giving the posthumous first performance of Schubert’s Ninth Symphony in 1839.

Although he composed prolifically up to the end of his life in almost all forms (he never found the right opera libretto), he was rarely satisfied with his own facility, often keeping aside his major scores for a long period before presenting them to the public: the Violin Concerto (completed 1844) was six years in the making and the oratorio Elijah (completed 1846) nearly eight.

Mendelssohn was very conscious of his part in an unbroken tradition of German music deriving from Bach and the great classics of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, and in each of his major works searched for means of infusing this tradition with his own modern Romantic sensibility.

If his reputation suffered from the heavier performing styles of the later 19th century, which tended to sentimentalise his music, and also from the current of anti-Semitism that led to his music being banned by the Nazis, a modern perspective can appreciate his freshness and directness of expression, as well as the perfect ear for colour and texture, that place him among the greatest composers of any age.

Profile © Andrew Huth

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