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The Mozart of the 19th Century

Felix Mendelssohn had a remarkable, if brief career, cut short at the age of just 38 in 1847. He was born into an exceptional family. His grandfather Moses was a much respected Jewish philosopher, while his father Abraham, a wealthy Jewish banker and his mother Lea, a cultivated, musical woman had the standing and means to provide their four children with every opportunity Berlin society could offer. Only a handful of composers can match Mendelssohn's precocious talent. A child prodigy, famously likened by his friend Robert Schumann to Mozart, Felix's public career began at the age of 9. Between the ages of 11 and 15, he wrote 13 strings symphonies, 5 concertos, 4 operas, chamber music, piano and organ pieces, solo songs and choral pieces. Across the week Donald explores the musical treasures inspired by these formative years.

Mendelssohn's education was nothing if not thorough. From the age of nine, a long list of tutors arrived at the family home to teach a comprehensive list of subjects ranging from Latin to geography but perhaps the man who was to have the most profound influence over him in his early years was Carl Zelter, the director of Singakademie. Today Donald Macleod looks at Mendelssohn's early training.

"Herr, Der Du Bist Der Gott" (St. Paul, Part 1)
Choruses of the Chapelle Royale and Collegium Vocale
Champs-Élysées Orchestra
Philippe Herreweghe (director)

String Symphony no.12 (1st movement: Fuga. Grave-Allegro)
London Festival Orchestra
Ross Pople (conductor)

Hexenlied, Op.8 no. 8
Margaret Price (soprano)
Graham Johnson (piano)

Rondo Brillant, Op.29
Stephen Hough (piano)

Meerestille und glückliche Fahrt, Op.27
London Symphony Orchestra
Claudio Abbado (conductor)

Gott, sei mir gnädig nach deiner Güte
"Ich Danke Dir, Herr, Mein Gott" (St. Paul, Part 1)
Matthias Goerne (bass)
Choruses of the Chapelle Royale and Collegium Vocale
Champs-Élysées Orchestra
Philippe Herreweghe (director).

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Wed 10 Jun 2015 18:30

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