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's compositions include symphonies, concertos, 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 oratorio Elijah, the overture The Hebrides, his mature Violin Concerto, and his String Octet. The melody for the Christmas carol "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is also his. Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words are his most famous solo piano compositions.

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

Felix Mendelssohn
The Fair Melusina, Op 32
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
The Fair Melusina, Op 32

Sort by

Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Concerto No 1 in G minor Op 25: finale
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Piano Concerto No 1 in G minor Op 25: finale
Felix Mendelssohn
Capriccio brillante in B minor, Op 22
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Capriccio brillante in B minor, Op 22
Felix Mendelssohn
Song without Words in F sharp minor, Op 19 No 5
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Song without Words in F sharp minor, Op 19 No 5
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony no. 4 in A major Op.90 "Italian" (4th mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Symphony no. 4 in A major Op.90 "Italian" (4th mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music Op.61
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music Op.61
Felix Mendelssohn
A Midsummer Night's Dream - Incidental Music Op.61
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
A Midsummer Night's Dream - Incidental Music Op.61
Felix Mendelssohn
A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music Op.61
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
A Midsummer night's dream - incidental music Op.61
Felix Mendelssohn
Elijah: Yet doth the Lord see it not
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Elijah: Yet doth the Lord see it not
Felix Mendelssohn
Overture: A Midsummer Night's Dream
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Overture: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Felix Mendelssohn
Psalm 100: 'Jauchzet dem Hern, all welt'
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Psalm 100: 'Jauchzet dem Hern, all welt'
Felix Mendelssohn
String Symphony No 10 in B minor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
String Symphony No 10 in B minor
Felix Mendelssohn
Warum toben die Heiden, Op 78 No 1
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Warum toben die Heiden, Op 78 No 1
Felix Mendelssohn
String Symphony No 2 in D major
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
String Symphony No 2 in D major
Felix Mendelssohn
4 songs from Im Grünen, Op 59 - Nos 1, 4, 5 & 6
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
4 songs from Im Grünen, Op 59 - Nos 1, 4, 5 & 6
Felix Mendelssohn
Adagio (Sonata for piano and cello No.2 in D major, Op.58)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Adagio (Sonata for piano and cello No.2 in D major, Op.58)
Felix Mendelssohn
Frühlingslied, Op 62 No 6
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Frühlingslied, Op 62 No 6
Felix Mendelssohn
Hear my prayer
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Hear my prayer
Felix Mendelssohn
String Octet in E flat major, Op.20 (4th mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
String Octet in E flat major, Op.20 (4th mvt)
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
Symphony No 3 in A minor, Op 56, 'Scottish' - 4th movement, Allegro un poco
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Symphony No 3 in A minor, Op 56, 'Scottish' - 4th movement, Allegro un poco
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony no. 10 in B minor for string orchestra
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Symphony no. 10 in B minor for string orchestra
Felix Mendelssohn
Rondo capriccioso, Op 14
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Rondo capriccioso, Op 14
Felix Mendelssohn
Ruy Blas Overture, Op. 95
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Ruy Blas Overture, Op. 95
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
St Paul, Op.3 (Overture)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
St Paul, Op.3 (Overture)
Felix Mendelssohn
A Midsummer Night's Dream - incidental music (Op.61)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
A Midsummer Night's Dream - incidental music (Op.61)
Felix Mendelssohn
Trio No 2 in C minor - 1st mvt
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Trio No 2 in C minor - 1st mvt
Felix Mendelssohn
Overture, Ruy Blas
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Overture, Ruy Blas
Felix Mendelssohn
"Trumpet" Overture op.101 in C major
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
"Trumpet" Overture op.101 in C major
Felix Mendelssohn
Concerto for Two Pianos in A Flat MWV06, Movt. 3
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Concerto for Two Pianos in A Flat MWV06, Movt. 3
Felix Mendelssohn
Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, op. 27
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, op. 27
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Trio no.1 in D minor, Op.49 (1st mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Piano Trio no.1 in D minor, Op.49 (1st mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Quartet No 1 in C minor, Op.1
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Piano Quartet No 1 in C minor, Op.1
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No.4 in A, Op.90
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Symphony No.4 in A, Op.90
Felix Mendelssohn
Ruy Blas Overture, Op.95
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Ruy Blas Overture, Op.95
Felix Mendelssohn
Ruy Blas (overture) Op 95
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Ruy Blas (overture) Op 95
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Trio No 2 in C minor, Op 66 (3rd mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Piano Trio No 2 in C minor, Op 66 (3rd mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Vier Lieder Op. 100: ii.Lob des Frühlings; iii. Frühlingslied (2.39)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Vier Lieder Op. 100: ii.Lob des Frühlings; iii. Frühlingslied (2.39)
Felix Mendelssohn
Trumpet Overture in C major, op. 101
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Trumpet Overture in C major, op. 101
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No 1 in C minor (4th mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Symphony No 1 in C minor (4th mvt)

Symphony No 1 in C minor (4th mvt)

Orchestra
Freiberg Baroque Orchestra
Last played on
Felix Mendelssohn
The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) - overture Op.26
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) - overture Op.26
Felix Mendelssohn
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Scherzo)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Scherzo)
Felix Mendelssohn
String Octet in E flat major, Op 20 [1825]
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
String Octet in E flat major, Op 20 [1825]
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Trio No 1 in D minor, Op 49 (1st mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Piano Trio No 1 in D minor, Op 49 (1st mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Andante (Variations) in E major Op.81`1
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqdsq.jpg
link
Andante (Variations) in E major Op.81`1
Load more tracks

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