The Rise, Fall and Rise of Mendelssohn
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.
After spending the week in the company of the young Mendelssohn, in the final chapter of his survey, Donald Macleod looks at the rather bumpier ride Mendelssohn's reputation was given in the years after his death, before the reassessment he's enjoying in our own century.
O for the Wings of a Dove (Hear My Prayer)
Ernest Lough (treble)
Temple Church Choir
Sir George Thalben-Ball (organ and director)
Piano Trio Op.49 In D Minor (1st movement)
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64
James Ehnes (violin)
Vladimir Ashkenazy (conductor)
String Quartet no 6 in F minor, Op.80 (1st movement: Allegro vivace assai- Presto)
Songs Without Words Book 3, Op. 38/6
Songs Without Words Book 6, Op. 67/4
Murray Perahia (piano).