Felix Mendelssohn

Born 3 February 1809. Died 4 November 1847
Felix Mendelssohn
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1809-02-03
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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
Octet in E flat major, Op 20 (1st mvt)
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Octet in E flat major, Op 20 (1st mvt)

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Felix Mendelssohn
Vier Lieder Op. 100: ii.Lob des Frühlings; iii. Frühlingslied (2.39)
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Vier Lieder Op. 100: ii.Lob des Frühlings; iii. Frühlingslied (2.39)
Felix Mendelssohn
Trumpet Overture in C major, op. 101
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Trumpet Overture in C major, op. 101
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No 1 in C minor (4th mvt)
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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
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The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) - overture Op.26
Felix Mendelssohn
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Scherzo)
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A Midsummer Night's Dream (Scherzo)
Felix Mendelssohn
String Octet in E flat major, Op 20 [1825]
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String Octet in E flat major, Op 20 [1825]
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Trio No 1 in D minor, Op 49 (1st mvt)
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Piano Trio No 1 in D minor, Op 49 (1st mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Andante (Variations) in E major Op.81`1
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Andante (Variations) in E major Op.81`1
Felix Mendelssohn
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Overture)
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A Midsummer Night's Dream (Overture)
Felix Mendelssohn
Die schone Melusine [The Fair Melusine] - overture Op 32
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Die schone Melusine [The Fair Melusine] - overture Op 32
Felix Mendelssohn
Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra in D minor - Finale
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Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra in D minor - Finale
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony for string orchestra no 10 in B minor
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Symphony for string orchestra no 10 in B minor
Felix Mendelssohn
Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
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Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Concerto No 1 in G minor, Op 25 (3rd and 4th mvts)
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Piano Concerto No 1 in G minor, Op 25 (3rd and 4th mvts)
Felix Mendelssohn
Prelude and Fugue in E minor, Op 35 no 1
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Prelude and Fugue in E minor, Op 35 no 1
Felix Mendelssohn
Prelude and fugue in G major Op.37`2 for organ
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Prelude and fugue in G major Op.37`2 for organ
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, op. 56 'Scottish'
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Symphony No. 3 in A minor, op. 56 'Scottish'
Felix Mendelssohn
The Fair Melusina, Op 32
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The Fair Melusina, Op 32
Felix Mendelssohn
Laudate Pueri (motet, op.39 no.2)
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Laudate Pueri (motet, op.39 no.2)

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

Performer
Ivelina Ivancheva
Conductor
Ivelin Dimitrov
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No 3 in A minor, Op 56, 'Scottish' (2nd mvt)
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Symphony No 3 in A minor, Op 56, 'Scottish' (2nd mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Hebrides overture, Op 26
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Hebrides overture, Op 26
Felix Mendelssohn
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64
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Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64
Felix Mendelssohn
Erster Verlust (First Loss) [Goethe], Op 99 no 1
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Erster Verlust (First Loss) [Goethe], Op 99 no 1
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op.90 (Italian)
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Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op.90 (Italian)
Felix Mendelssohn
String Octet in E flat Op.20
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String Octet in E flat Op.20

String Octet in E flat Op.20

Ensemble
Jasper Quartet
Jupiter Quartet
Felix Mendelssohn
The Hebrides Overture
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The Hebrides Overture
Felix Mendelssohn
Capriccio in E minor, Op.81`3 [orig. for string quartet]
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Capriccio in E minor, Op.81`3 [orig. for string quartet]
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op.90 'Italian' (iv. Finale)
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Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op.90 'Italian' (iv. Finale)
Felix Mendelssohn
Concerto in D minor for violin, piano and strings (3rd mvt)
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Concerto in D minor for violin, piano and strings (3rd mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Song without Words, Op.19 No.5
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Song without Words, Op.19 No.5
Felix Mendelssohn
Ruy Blas Overture, Op 95
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Ruy Blas Overture, Op 95
Felix Mendelssohn
String Symphony No 7 in D minor (4th mvt)
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String Symphony No 7 in D minor (4th mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op 61 (Scherzo)
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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op 61 (Scherzo)
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No 4 in A major, Op 90, 'Italian' (1st mvt)
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Symphony No 4 in A major, Op 90, 'Italian' (1st mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64
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Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64
Felix Mendelssohn
A Midsummer Night's Dream (excerpts)
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A Midsummer Night's Dream (excerpts)
Felix Mendelssohn
Die Nachtigall, Op 59 No 4
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Die Nachtigall, Op 59 No 4
Felix Mendelssohn
Elijah Op.70
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Elijah Op.70
Felix Mendelssohn
Lieder ohne Worte - book 7 Op.85
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Lieder ohne Worte - book 7 Op.85
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 40: iii - Finale
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Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 40: iii - Finale
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Trio no 2 in C minor, Op 66
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Piano Trio no 2 in C minor, Op 66
Felix Mendelssohn
String quartet in E minor Op.44 no.2 (2nd mvt)
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String quartet in E minor Op.44 no.2 (2nd mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Wedding March (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op 61)
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Wedding March (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op 61)
Felix Mendelssohn
String Symphony no. VI in E flat
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String Symphony no. VI in E flat
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony for String Orchestra No 9 in C minor
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Symphony for String Orchestra No 9 in C minor
Felix Mendelssohn
Sextet for piano and strings (Op.110) in D major
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Sextet for piano and strings (Op.110) in D major
Felix Mendelssohn
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64 (3rd mvt)
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Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64 (3rd mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Piano Concerto no.2 1st mvt
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Piano Concerto no.2 1st mvt
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