Felix Mendelssohn

Born 3 February 1809. Died 4 November 1847
Felix Mendelssohn
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/960x540/p01bqdsq.jpg
1809-02-03
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/0e85eb79-1c05-44ba-827c-7b259a3d941a
Felix Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn Biography (BBC)

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

Felix Mendelssohn Biography (Wikipedia)

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847), born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early romantic period. Mendelssohn wrote symphonies, concertos, oratorios, piano music and chamber music. His best-known works include his Overture and incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Italian Symphony, the Scottish Symphony, the overture The Hebrides, his mature Violin Concerto, and his String Octet. His Songs Without Words are his most famous solo piano compositions. After a long period of relative denigration due to changing musical tastes and antisemitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his creative originality has been re-evaluated. He is now among the most popular composers of the romantic era.

A grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn was born into a prominent Jewish family. He was brought up without religion until the age of seven, when he was baptised as a Reformed Christian. Felix was recognised early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his talent.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Felix Mendelssohn Performances & Interviews


Felix Mendelssohn Tracks

Sort by

Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony for string orchestra no 10 in B minor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Symphony for string orchestra no 10 in B minor
Felix Mendelssohn
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64 (3rd mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64 (3rd mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.56 (Scottish)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.56 (Scottish)
Felix Mendelssohn
Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream transc for piano
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream transc for piano
Felix Mendelssohn
String Quartet No 3 in D major, Op 44 No 1 (3rd mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
String Quartet No 3 in D major, Op 44 No 1 (3rd mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Song without Words, Op.109
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Song without Words, Op.109
Felix Mendelssohn
Four Pieces for String Quartet Op. 81: iv. Fugue in E flat
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Four Pieces for String Quartet Op. 81: iv. Fugue in E flat
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Concerto No.2 in D minor - finale
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Piano Concerto No.2 in D minor - finale
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No 4 in A major, Op 90, 'Italian' (1st mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Symphony No 4 in A major, Op 90, 'Italian' (1st mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
String Quartet No 4 in E minor, Op 44 No 2 (Presto agitato)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
String Quartet No 4 in E minor, Op 44 No 2 (Presto agitato)
Felix Mendelssohn
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64
Felix Mendelssohn
Prelude and Fugue in C minor, Op 37 No 1
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Prelude and Fugue in C minor, Op 37 No 1
Felix Mendelssohn
Herbstlied, Op 63 No 4
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Herbstlied, Op 63 No 4
Felix Mendelssohn
Ich wollt' mein Lieb ergosse sich, Op 63 No 1
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Ich wollt' mein Lieb ergosse sich, Op 63 No 1
Felix Mendelssohn
Duetto: Andante (Lieder ohne Worte, Op 38 No 6)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Duetto: Andante (Lieder ohne Worte, Op 38 No 6)
Felix Mendelssohn
Meeresstille und gluckliche Fahrt - Overture, Op 27
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Meeresstille und gluckliche Fahrt - Overture, Op 27
Felix Mendelssohn
Elijah: For the mountains shall depart
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Elijah: For the mountains shall depart
Felix Mendelssohn
Pilgerspruch, Op 8 No 5
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Pilgerspruch, Op 8 No 5
Felix Mendelssohn
Erntelied, Op 8 No 4
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Erntelied, Op 8 No 4
Felix Mendelssohn
Rondo Brillant, Op 29
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Rondo Brillant, Op 29
Felix Mendelssohn
A Midsummer Night's Dream: Overture
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
A Midsummer Night's Dream: Overture
Felix Mendelssohn
Lieder ohne Worte, Op 19b No 4
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Lieder ohne Worte, Op 19b No 4
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, III. Presto - Molto allegro vivace
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, III. Presto - Molto allegro vivace
Felix Mendelssohn
Elijah: It is enough
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Elijah: It is enough
Felix Mendelssohn
Organ Sonata in C minor, Op 65 No 2
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Organ Sonata in C minor, Op 65 No 2
Felix Mendelssohn
St Paul: Rise! Up! Arise!
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
St Paul: Rise! Up! Arise!
Felix Mendelssohn
Prelude and Fugue No 1 in E minor, Op 35
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Prelude and Fugue No 1 in E minor, Op 35
Felix Mendelssohn
String Symphony No 5 in B flat major (Allegro vivace)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
String Symphony No 5 in B flat major (Allegro vivace)
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No 4 in A major, Op 90 (Italian)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Symphony No 4 in A major, Op 90 (Italian)
Felix Mendelssohn
Nachspiel in D major
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Nachspiel in D major
Felix Mendelssohn
Psalm 115 (Non nobis, Domine), Op 31
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Psalm 115 (Non nobis, Domine), Op 31
Felix Mendelssohn
Venetianisches Gondellied (Lieder ohne Worte, Op 19b No 6)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Venetianisches Gondellied (Lieder ohne Worte, Op 19b No 6)
Felix Mendelssohn
Overture for Wind Instruments, Op.24
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Overture for Wind Instruments, Op.24
Felix Mendelssohn
Scherzo in A minor, Op 81`2
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Scherzo in A minor, Op 81`2
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony no. 4 in A major, 'Italian' (Proms 2016)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Symphony no. 4 in A major, 'Italian' (Proms 2016)
Felix Mendelssohn
Infelice - concert aria Op 94 for soprano and orchestra
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Infelice - concert aria Op 94 for soprano and orchestra
Felix Mendelssohn
Four Pieces Op. 81 - II: Scherzo in A minor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Four Pieces Op. 81 - II: Scherzo in A minor
Felix Mendelssohn
Concerto in A minor for piano and string orchestra
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Concerto in A minor for piano and string orchestra
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Quartet No 2 in F minor, Op 2 (Allegro molto vivace)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Piano Quartet No 2 in F minor, Op 2 (Allegro molto vivace)
Felix Mendelssohn
Duo Sonata in G minor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Duo Sonata in G minor
Felix Mendelssohn
Die Beiden Padagogen (Probatum est, dies ruf ich mir)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Die Beiden Padagogen (Probatum est, dies ruf ich mir)
Felix Mendelssohn
Die beiden Padagogen: Overture
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Die beiden Padagogen: Overture

Die beiden Padagogen: Overture

Orchestra
Munchner Radio Orchestra
Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
Christus: “Say, where is He born …”
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p02qhntj.jpg
link
Christus: “Say, where is He born …”
Felix Mendelssohn
Laudate Pueri (motet, op.39 no.2)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Laudate Pueri (motet, op.39 no.2)

Laudate Pueri (motet, op.39 no.2)

Performer
Ivelina Ivancheva
Conductor
Ivelin Dimitrov
Felix Mendelssohn
Violin concerto in D minor: III. Allegro
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Violin concerto in D minor: III. Allegro
Felix Mendelssohn
Clarinet Sonata in E flat major (2nd mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Clarinet Sonata in E flat major (2nd mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Violin Concerto in D Minor, MWV O3: I. Allegro
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Violin Concerto in D Minor, MWV O3: I. Allegro
Felix Mendelssohn
Auf Flügeln des Gesanges op.34/2
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Auf Flügeln des Gesanges op.34/2
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Trio No.2 in C minor, Op 66
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Piano Trio No.2 in C minor, Op 66
Felix Mendelssohn
Scherzo from "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Op 21
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Scherzo from "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Op 21
Load more tracks
Playlists featuring Felix Mendelssohn

Latest Felix Mendelssohn News

    Play on! How Shakespeare inspired 400 years of music
    A brief history of music's love for the Bard - in 6 Proms
Back to artist