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Encyclopedia > Felix Mendelssohn
Portrait of Mendelssohn by the English miniaturist James Warren Childe (1778-1862), 1839
Portrait of Mendelssohn by the English miniaturist James Warren Childe (1778-1862), 1839

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born and generally known as Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809November 4, 1847) is a German composer, pianist and conductor of the early Romantic period. He was born to a notable Jewish family, being the grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. His work includes symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano and chamber music. After a long period of relative denigration due to changing musical tastes and anti-Semitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his creative originality is now being recognized and re-evaluated, and he is now among the most popular composers of the Romantic era. Image File history File links Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy at the age of 30 in London watercolor painting by James Warren Childe (detail), 1839 (from english wiki) File links The following pages link to this file: Felix Mendelssohn ... Image File history File links Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy at the age of 30 in London watercolor painting by James Warren Childe (detail), 1839 (from english wiki) File links The following pages link to this file: Felix Mendelssohn ... is the 34th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1809 (MDCCCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar). ... is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1847 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... A composer is a person who writes music. ... A conductor conducting at a ceremony A conductors score and batons Conducting is the act of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. ... The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs roughly from 1820 to 1900, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... Moses Mendelssohn Moses Mendelssohns glasses, in the Berlin Jewish Museum Moses Mendelssohn (Dessau, September 6, 1729 – January 4, 1786 in Berlin) was a German Jewish philosopher to whose ideas the renaissance of European Jews, Haskalah, (the Jewish enlightenment) is indebted. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The term Concerto (plural concertos or concerti) usually refers to a musical work in which one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra. ... An oratorio is a large musical composition for orchestra, vocal soloists and chorus. ... This article is about the modern musical instrument. ... Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. ... The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ... The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs roughly from 1820 to 1900, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. ...

Contents

Life

Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg, the son of a banker, Abraham Mendelssohn (who later changed his surname to Mendelssohn Bartholdy, and who was himself the son of the German-Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn), and of Lea Salomon, a member of the Itzig family and the sister of Jakob Salomon Bartholdy. This article is about the city in Germany. ... For other uses, see Bank (disambiguation). ... Abraham Mendelssohn Bartholdy was a German Jewish banker and philanthropist, born Abraham Mendelssohn 10th December 1776 in Berlin, died there 19th December 1835. ... Moses Mendelssohn Moses Mendelssohns glasses, in the Berlin Jewish Museum Moses Mendelssohn (Dessau, September 6, 1729 – January 4, 1786 in Berlin) was a German Jewish philosopher to whose ideas the renaissance of European Jews, Haskalah, (the Jewish enlightenment) is indebted. ... Many of the the thirteen children of Daniel Itzig and Miriam Wulff, and their descendants and spouses, had significant impact on both Jewish and German social and cultural (especially musical) history. ... Jakob Salomon Bartholdy (1779-1825) was a Prussian diplomat, born in Berlin of Jewish parentage, and educated at the University of Halle. ...


Felix grew up in an environment of intense intellectual ferment. The greatest minds of Germany were frequent visitors to his family's home in Berlin, including Wilhelm von Humboldt and Alexander von Humboldt. His sister Rebecka married the great German mathematician Lejeune Dirichlet. This article is about the capital of Germany. ... Wilhelm von Humboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand Freiherr von Humboldt (June 22, 1767 - April 8, 1835), government functionary, foreign diplomat, philosopher, founder of Humboldt Universität in Berlin, friend of Goethe and especially of Schiller, is especially remembered as a German linguist who introduced a knowledge of the Basque... An 1859 portrait of Alexander von Humboldt by the artist Julius Schrader, showing Mount Chimborazo in the background. ... Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet. ...


Abraham sought to renounce the Jewish religion; his children were first brought up without religious education, and were baptised as Lutherans in 1816 (at which time Felix took the additional names Jakob Ludwig). (Abraham and his wife were not themselves baptised until 1822). The name Bartholdy was assumed at the suggestion of Lea's brother, Jakob, who had purchased a property of this name and adopted it as his own surname. Abraham was later to explain this decision in a letter to Felix as a means of showing a decisive break with the traditions of his father Moses: "There can no more be a Christian Mendelssohn than there can be a Jewish Confucius". Although Felix continued to sign his letters as 'Mendelssohn Bartholdy' in obedience to his father's injunctions, he seems not to have objected to the use of 'Mendelssohn' alone.[1] Lutheranism is a major branch of Protestant Christianity that identifies with the teachings of the sixteenth-century German reformer Martin Luther. ... Confucius (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Kung-fu-tzu), lit. ...

Mendelssohn's music room in Leipzig
Mendelssohn's music room in Leipzig

The family moved to Berlin in 1812. Abraham and Lea Mendelssohn sought to give Felix, his brother Paul, and sisters Fanny and Rebecka, the best education possible. His sister Fanny Mendelssohn (later Fanny Hensel), became a well-known pianist and amateur composer; originally Abraham had thought that she, rather than her brother, might be the more musical. However, at that time, it was not considered proper (by either Abraham or Felix) for a woman to have a career in music, so Fanny remained an amateur musician. Six of her early songs were later published (with her consent) under Felix's name. [2] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2608x1952, 2428 KB) Summary Template:PDFself Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2608x1952, 2428 KB) Summary Template:PDFself Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... Rebecca Henriette Lejeune Dirichlet, née Rebecca Henriette Mendelssohn Bartholdy (b. ... Fanny Mendelssohn Fanny Hensel, 1842, by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim Fanny Cäcilie Mendelssohn (November 14, 1805 – May 14, 1847), later Fanny Hensel, was a German pianist and composer, and was the sister of Felix Mendelssohn; they were both the grandchildren of the distinguished Jewish philosopher, Moses Mendelssohn. ... A pianist is a person who plays the piano. ...


Mendelssohn is often regarded as the greatest musical child prodigy after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He began taking piano lessons from his mother when he was six, and at seven was tutored by Marie Bigot in Paris. From 1817 he studied composition with Carl Friedrich Zelter in Berlin. He probably made his first public concert appearance at the age of nine, when he participated in a chamber music concert. He was also a prolific composer as a child, and wrote his first published work, a piano quartet, by the time he was thirteen. Zelter introduced Mendelssohn to his friend and correspondent, the elderly Goethe. He later took lessons from the composer and piano virtuoso Ignaz Moscheles who however confessed in his diaries [3] that he had little to teach him. Moscheles became a close colleague and lifelong friend. “Mozart” redirects here. ... This article is about the capital of France. ... Carl Friedrich Zelter Carl Friedrich Zelter (11 November 1758 – 15 May 1832) was a German composer, conductor and teacher of music. ... Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. ... “Goethe” redirects here. ... Ignaz Moscheles, from a portrait by his son Felix. ...


Besides music, Mendelssohn's education included art, literature, languages, and philosophy. He was a skilled artist in pencil and watercolour, he could speak (besides his native German) English, Italian, and Latin, and he had an interest in classical literature.


As an adolescent, his works were often performed at home with a private orchestra for the associates of his wealthy parents amongst the intellectual elite of Berlin. Mendelssohn wrote 12 string symphonies between the ages of 12 and 14. These works were ignored for over a century, but are now recorded and heard occasionally in concerts. In 1824, still aged only 15, he wrote his first symphony for full orchestra (in C minor, Op. 11). At the age of 16 he wrote his String Octet in E Flat Major, the first work which showed the full power of his genius. The Octet and his overture to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, which he wrote a year later, are the best known of his early works. (He wrote incidental music for the play 16 years later in 1842, including the famous Wedding March.) 1827 saw the premiere—and sole performance in his lifetime—of his opera, Die Hochzeit des Camacho. The failure of this production left him disinclined to venture into the genre again; he later toyed for a while in the 1840s with a libretto by Eugene Scribe based on Shakespeare's The Tempest, but rejected it as unsuitable. 1824 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Look up octet in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Overture to A Midsummer Nights Dream is a concert overture composed by Felix Mendelssohn in 1826 and later incorporated into his incidental music for A Midsummer Nights Dream in 1843. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... For other uses, see A Midsummer Nights Dream (disambiguation). ... Mendelssohns Wedding March is one of the best known of the pieces that he wrote for A Midsummer Nights Dream in 1842. ... For other uses, see Opera (disambiguation). ... Augustin Eugène Scribe (December 24, 1791 - February 20, 1861), was a French dramatist and librettist. ... Shakespeare redirects here. ... For other uses, see The Tempest (disambiguation). ...


From 1826 to 1829, Mendelssohn studied at the University of Berlin, where he attended lectures on aesthetics by Hegel, on history by Eduard Gans and on geography by Carl Ritter. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin The Humboldt University of Berlin (German Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) is Berlins oldest university, founded in 1810 as the University of Berlin (Universität zu Berlin) by the liberal Prussian educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt whose university model has strongly influenced... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (IPA: ) (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher and, with Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, one of the representatives of German idealism. ... Eduard Gans (March 22, 1797 - May 5, 1839), was a German jurist. ...


In 1829 Mendelssohn paid his first visit to Britain, where Moscheles, already settled in London, introduced him to influential musical circles. He had a great success, conducting his First Symphony and playing in public and private concerts. In the summer he visited Edinburgh and became a friend of the composer John Thomson. On subsequent visits he met with Queen Victoria and her musical husband Prince Albert, both of whom were great admirers of his music. In the course of ten visits to Britain during his life he won a strong following, and the country inspired two of his most famous works, the overture Fingal's Cave (also known as the Hebrides Overture) and the Scottish Symphony (Symphony No. 3). His oratorio Elijah was premiered in Birmingham at the Triennial Music Festival on 26 August 1846. For other uses, see Edinburgh (disambiguation). ... The composer John Thomson (28 October 1805 – 1841) was born in Sprouston, Roxburghshire, Scotland, the son of the Minister of Sprouston Church. ... Queen Victoria redirects here. ... Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (in full Francis Charles Augustus Albert Emmanuel) (26 August 1819 – 14 December 1861) was the husband and consort of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. ... Mendelssohns original sketch of the overture, contained in the letter to Fanny, 1829. ... The Symphony No. ... Elijah is an oratorio written by Felix Mendelssohn in 1846 for the Birmingham Festival. ... This article is about the British city. ... The Birmingham Triennial Musical Festival is the longest-running classical music festival of its kind. ... is the 238th day of the year (239th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1846 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


On the death of Zelter, Mendelssohn had some hopes of becoming the conductor of the Berlin Singakademie with which he had revived Johann Sebastian Bach's St Matthew Passion (see below). However he was defeated for the post by Karl Rungenhagen. This may have been because of Mendelssohn's youth, and fear of possible innovations; it was also suspected by some (and possibly by Mendelssohn himself) to be on account of his Jewish origins. The Berlin Singakademie (formal name Sing-Akademie zu Berlin) is a musical (originally choral) society founded in Berlin in 1791 by Carl Friedrich Christian Fasch, harpsichordist to the court of Prussia, on the model of the 18th century London Academy of Ancient Music. ... “Bach” redirects here. ... This aritcle does not cite any references or sources. ...

Felix Mendelssohn's study in Leipzig
Felix Mendelssohn's study in Leipzig

Nonetheless, in 1835 he was appointed as conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. This appointment was extremely important for him; he felt himself to be a German and wished to play a leading part in his country's musical life. In its way it was a redress for his disappointment over the Singakademie appointment. Despite efforts by the king of Prussia to lure him to Berlin, Mendelssohn concentrated on developing the musical life of Leipzig and in 1843 he founded the Leipzig Conservatory, where he successfully persuaded Ignaz Moscheles and Robert Schumann to join him. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1952x2608, 1865 KB) Summary Template:PDFself Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1952x2608, 1865 KB) Summary Template:PDFself Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is a German orchestra based in Leipzig, Germany. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... Leipzig ( ; Sorbian/Lusatian: Lipsk from the Sorbian word for Tilia) is, with a population of over 506,000, the largest city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. ... The Felix Mendelssohn College of Music and Theatre, located in Leipzig, Germany was founded by Felix Mendelssohn in 1843 as the Leipzig Conservatory (he acted as its first director); it was the first German Conservatory. ... Ignaz Moscheles, from a portrait by his son Felix. ... For other persons named Robert Schumann, see Robert Schumann (disambiguation). ...


Mendelssohn's personal life was conventional. His marriage to Cécile Jeanrenaud in March of 1837 was very happy and the couple had five children: Carl, Marie, Paul, Felix, and Lilli. Mendelssohn was an accomplished painter in watercolours, and his enormous correspondence shows that he could also be a witty writer in German and English—sometimes accompanied by humorous sketches and cartoons in the text.


Mendelssohn suffered from bad health in the final years of his life, probably aggravated by nervous problems and overwork, and he was greatly distressed by the death of his sister Fanny in May 1847. Felix Mendelssohn died later that same year after a series of strokes, on November 4, 1847, in Leipzig. His funeral was held at the Paulinerkirche and he is buried in the Trinity Cemetery in Berlin-Kreuzberg. is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1847 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Paulinerkirche The Paulinerkirche in the historic city center of Göttingen was completed as a minster in 1304. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... Location of Kreuzberg in Berlin Kreuzberg Kreuzberg, located south of Berlin-Mitte, is one of the best-known boroughs of Berlin, famous for its nightlife and its political leftness as well as its problems with criminality, the drug scene and a very high number of immigrants. ...

Felix Mendelssohn's grave
Felix Mendelssohn's grave

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (354x670, 36 KB) Summary Grave of Felix Mendelssohn, photo taken by me Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (354x670, 36 KB) Summary Grave of Felix Mendelssohn, photo taken by me Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

Revival of Bach's and Schubert's music

Mendelssohn's own works show his study of Baroque and early classical music. His fugues and chorales especially reflect a tonal clarity and use of counterpoint reminiscent of Johann Sebastian Bach, by whom he was deeply influenced. His great-aunt, Sarah Levy (née Itzig) was a pupil of Bach's son, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, and had supported the widow of another son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. She had collected a number of Bach manuscripts. J.S. Bach's music, which had fallen into relative obscurity by the turn of the 19th century, was also deeply respected by Mendelssohn's teacher Zelter. In 1829, with the backing of Zelter and the assistance of a friend, the actor Eduard Devrient, Mendelssohn arranged and conducted a performance in Berlin of Bach's St Matthew Passion. The orchestra and choir were provided by the Berlin Singakademie of which Zelter was the principal conductor. The success of this performance (the first since Bach's death in 1750) was an important element in the revival of J.S. Bach's music in Germany and, eventually, throughout Europe. It earned Mendelssohn widespread acclaim at the age of twenty. It also led to one of the very few references which Mendelssohn ever made to his origins: 'To think that it took an actor and a Jew-boy (Judensohn) to revive the greatest Christian music for the world' (cited by Devrient in his memoirs of the composer). “Bach” redirects here. ... Many of the the thirteen children of Daniel Itzig and Miriam Wulff, and their descendants and spouses, had significant impact on both Jewish and German social and cultural (especially musical) history. ... Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, in a portrait by Wilhelm Weitsch Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (November 22, 1710 – July 1, 1784) was the eldest, and by common repute the most gifted son, of Johann Sebastian Bach; a famous organist, a famous improvisor, and a complete master of counterpoint. ... Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (March 8, 1714 – December 14, 1788) was a German musician and composer, the second of five sons of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach. ... Philipp Eduard Devrient (11 August 1801 – 4 October 1877) was a German baritone, librettist, playwright, actor, theatre director and theatre reformer and historian. ... This aritcle does not cite any references or sources. ... The Berlin Singakademie (formal name Sing-Akademie zu Berlin) is a musical (originally choral) society founded in Berlin in 1791 by Carl Friedrich Christian Fasch, harpsichordist to the court of Prussia, on the model of the 18th century London Academy of Ancient Music. ... Events March 2 - Small earthquake in London, England April 4 - Small earthquake in Warrington, England August 23 - Small earthquake in Spalding, England September 30 - Small earthquake in Northampton, England November 16 – Westminster Bridge officially opened Jonas Hanway is the first Englishman to use an umbrella James Gray reveals her sex...


Mendelssohn also revived interest in the work of Franz Schubert. Schumann discovered the manuscript of Schubert's Ninth Symphony and sent it to Mendelssohn who promptly premiered it in Leipzig on 21 March 1839, more than a decade after the composer's death. Schubert redirects here. ... In 1838 Robert Schumann, on a visit to Vienna, found the dusty manuscript of Franz Schuberts C major symphony (the Great, D.944) and took it back to Leipzig, where it was performed by Felix Mendelssohn and celebrated in the Neue Zeitschrift. ... is the 80th day of the year (81st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1839 (MDCCCXXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


Contemporaries

Throughout his life Mendelssohn was wary of the more radical musical developments undertaken by some of his contemporaries. He was generally on friendly, if somewhat cool, terms with the likes of Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, and Giacomo Meyerbeer, but in his letters expresses his frank disapproval of their works. Painting of Berlioz by Gustave Courbet, 1850. ... “Liszt” redirects here. ... Giacomo Meyerbeer Giacomo Meyerbeer (September 5, 1791 – May 2, 1864) was a noted German-born opera composer, and the first great exponent of Grand Opera. ...


In particular, he seems to have regarded Paris and its music with the greatest of suspicion and an almost Puritanical distaste. Attempts made during his visit there to interest him in Saint-Simonianism ended in embarrassing scenes. He thought the Paris style of opera vulgar, and the works of Meyerbeer insincere. When Ferdinand Hiller suggested in conversation to Felix that he looked rather like Meyerbeer (they were distant cousins, both descendants of Rabbi Moses Isserlis), Mendelssohn was so upset that he immediately went to get a haircut to differentiate himself. It is significant that the only musician with whom he was a close personal friend, Moscheles, was of an older generation and equally conservative in outlook. Moscheles preserved this outlook at the Leipzig Conservatory until his own death in 1870. This article is about the capital of France. ... Saint-Simonianism was a French socialist movement of the first half of the 19th century. ... Ferdinand Hiller (October 24, 1811 - May 12, 1885), was a German composer of the romantic era. ... Moses Isserles (or Moshe Isserlis) (1530 - 1572), was a Rabbi and Talmudist, renowned for his fundamental work of Halakha (Jewish law), titled the Mapah (HaMapah), a component of the Shulkhan Arukh. ...


Reputation

This conservative strain in Mendelssohn, which set him apart from some of his more flamboyant contemporaries, bred a similar condescension on their part toward his music. His success, his popularity and his Jewish origins, irked Richard Wagner sufficiently to damn Mendelssohn with faint praise, three years after his death, in an anti-Jewish pamphlet Das Judenthum in der Musik. This was the start of a movement to denigrate Mendelssohn's achievements which lasted almost a century, the remnants of which can still be discerned today amongst some writers. The Nazi regime was to cite Mendelssohn's Jewish origin in banning his works and destroying memorial statues. Such avowedly anti-Semitic political opposition to Mendelssohn should of course be differentiated from expressions of artistic or aesthetic disdain for Mendelssohn's music such as those found in Charles Rosen's essay, who disparages Mendelssohn's style for "religious kitsch".[4]; but these opinions may also reflect a continuation of the aesthetic contempt of Wagner and his musical followers. Richard Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or music dramas as they were later called). ... Das Judenthum in der Musik (German, Jewry in Music), (in German spelled after its first publication ‘Judentum’) is an essay by Richard Wagner, attacking Jews in general and the composers Giacomo Meyerbeer and Felix Mendelssohn in particular, which was published under a pseudonym in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik... Nazism in history Nazi ideology Nazism and race Outside Germany Related subjects Lists Politics Portal         Nazism or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ... Charles Rosen (born May 5, 1927) is an American pianist and music theorist. ...


In England, Mendelssohn's reputation remained high for a long time; the adulatory (and today scarcely readable) novel Charles Auchester by the teenaged Sarah Sheppard, published in 1851, which features Mendelssohn as the "Chevalier Seraphael", remained in print for nearly eighty years. Queen Victoria demonstrated her enthusiasm by requesting, when The Crystal Palace was being re-built in 1854, that it include a statue of Mendelssohn. [5] Mendelssohn's Wedding March from A Midsummer Night's Dream was first played as a piece of ceremonial music at the wedding of Queen Victoria's daughter, The Princess Victoria, The Princess Royal, to Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia in 1858 and it is still popular today at marriage ceremonies. His sacred choral music, particularly the smaller-scale works, remain enduringly popular in the choral tradition of the Church of England. However many critics, including Bernard Shaw, began to condemn Mendelssohn's music for its association with Victorian cultural insularity. For other uses, see Crystal Palace. ... Princess Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise (21 November 1840 – 5 August 1901) was the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria and her consort Albert. ... Frederick III (Frederick William Nicholas Charles; October 18, 1831 – June 15, 1888), (German: Friedrich III., Deutscher Kaiser und König von Preußen) was German Emperor and King of Prussia, ruling for 99 days until his death in 1888. ... The Church of England logo since 1998 The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[1] in England, and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ... George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856–2 November 1950) was an Irish dramatist, literary critic, and socialist. ...


Over the last fifty years a new appreciation of Mendelssohn's work has developed, which takes into account not only the popular 'war horses', such as the E minor Violin Concerto and the Italian Symphony, but has been able to remove the Victorian varnish from the oratorio Elijah, and has explored the frequently intense and dramatic world of the chamber works. Virtually all of Mendelssohn's published works are now available on CD. Felix Mendelssohns Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. ... The Symphony No. ... Elijah is an oratorio written by Felix Mendelssohn in 1846 for the Birmingham Festival. ...


Recent critical evaluations of Mendelssohn's work have stressed the subtlety of his compositional technique. For example, the Hebrides Overture has been interpreted as presenting a musical equivalent to the aesthetic subject in the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich.[citation needed] The first lyrical theme, in this interpretation, represents the person apprehending the landscape described by the music behind this theme. Similarly, the use of french horns in the opening movement of the Italian Symphony may represent a German presence in an Italian scene: Mendelssohn himself on tour.[citation needed] Mendelssohns original sketch of the overture, contained in the letter to Fanny, 1829. ... Self-portrait in chalk, 1810 by fellow artist Georg Friedrich Kersting, 1812 Caspar David Friedrich (September 5, 1774 – May 7, 1840) was a 19th century German romantic painter, considered by many critics to be one of the finest representatives of the movement. ...


The hymn tune "Mendelssohn"—an adaptation by William Hayman Cummings of a melody from Mendelssohn's cantata Festgesang—is the standard tune for Charles Wesley's popular hymn Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. This extract from an originally secular 1840s composition, which Mendelssohn felt unsuited to sacred music, is thus ubiquitous at Christmas. William Hayman Cummings (August 22, 1831 – June 10, 1915), born in Devonshire, was an English musician and organist at Waltham Abbey. ... Charles Wesley (18 December 1707 - 29 March 1788) was a leader of the Methodist movement, the younger brother of John Wesley. ... A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a god or other religiously significant figure. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing is a Christmas hymn or carol written by Charles Wesley, the brother of John Wesley. ... For other uses, see Christmas (disambiguation). ...


Works

See also: List of compositions by Felix Mendelssohn and Category:Compositions by Felix Mendelssohn

This is a List of compositions by Felix Mendelssohn. ...

Juvenilia and early works

The young Mendelssohn was greatly influenced in his childhood by the music of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart and these can all be seen, albeit often rather crudely, in the twelve early "symphonies", mainly written for performance in the Mendelssohn household and not published or publicly performed until long after his death.


His astounding capacities are, however, clearly revealed in a clutch of works of his early maturity: the String Octet (1825), the Overture A Midsummer Night's Dream (1826) (which in its finished form owes much to the influence of Adolf Bernhard Marx, at the time a close friend of Mendelssohn), and the String Quartet in A minor (listed as no. 2 but written before no. 1) of 1827. These show an intuitive grasp of form, harmony, counterpoint, colour and the compositional technique of Beethoven, which justify the claims often made that Mendelssohn's precocity exceeded even that of Mozart in its intellectual grasp. Look up octet in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Friedrich Heinrich Adolf Bernhard Marx (b. ... For other uses, see Counterpoint (disambiguation). ...


Symphonies

Mendelssohn wrote 12 symphonies for string orchestra from 1821 to 1823 (between the ages of 12 and 14).


The numbering of his mature symphonies is approximately in order of publishing, rather than of composition. The order of composition is: 1, 5, 4, 2, 3. (Because he worked on it for over a decade, the placement of No. 3 in this sequence is problematic; he started sketches for it soon after the No. 5, but completed it following both Nos. 5 and 4.)


The Symphony No. 1 in C minor for full-scale orchestra was written in 1824, when Mendelssohn was aged 15. This work is experimental, showing the influence of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. Mendelssohn conducted this symphony on his first visit to London in 1829 with the orchestra of the Royal Philharmonic Society. For the third movement he substituted an orchestration of the Scherzo from his Octet. In this form the piece was an outstanding success and laid the foundations of his British reputation. Felix Mendelssohns Symphony No. ... “Bach” redirects here. ... Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827) was a German composer of Classical music, the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras. ... “Mozart” redirects here. ... The Royal Philharmonic Society is a British music society, formed in 1813. ...


During 1829 and 1830 Mendelssohn wrote his Symphony No. 5 in D Major, known as the Reformation. It celebrated the 300th anniversary of the Lutheran Church. Mendelssohn remained dissatisfied with the work and did not allow publication of the score. The Symphony No. ... Reformation redirects here. ...


The Scottish Symphony (Symphony No. 3 in A minor), was written and revised intermittently between 1830 and 1842. This piece evokes Scotland's atmosphere in the ethos of Romanticism, but does not employ actual Scottish folk melodies. Mendelssohn published the score of the symphony in 1842 in an arrangement for piano duet, and as a full orchestral score in 1843. The Symphony No. ... Romantics redirects here. ...


Mendelssohn's travels in Italy inspired him to write the Symphony No 4 in A major, known as the Italian. Mendelssohn conducted the premiere in 1833, but he did not allow this score to be published during his lifetime as he continually sought to rewrite it. The Symphony No. ...


In 1840 Mendelssohn wrote the choral Symphony No. 2 in B flat Major, entitled Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise), and this score was published in 1841. The Symphony No. ...


Other orchestral music

Mendelssohn wrote the concert overture The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) in 1830, inspired by visits he made to Scotland around the end of the 1820s. He visited the cave, on the Hebridean isle of Staffa, as part of his Grand Tour of Europe, and was so impressed that he scribbled the opening theme of the overture on the spot, including it in a letter he wrote home the same evening. Mendelssohns original sketch of the overture, contained in the letter to Fanny, 1829. ... This article is about the country. ... Entrance to Fingals cave, 2004 Entrance to Fingals cave, 1900 (Showing a lower tide) View from the depths of the cave with the island of Iona visible in the background, 2004 Fingals Cave is a sea-cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland... This article is about the Hebrides islands in Scotland. ... Fingals Cave around 1900 View from West to East Staffa (Norse for staff, column, or pillar island), an island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. ...


Throughout his career he wrote a number of other concert overtures. Those most frequently played today include Ruy Blas (written for the drama by Victor Hugo), Meerestille und Glückliche Fahrt (Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, inspired by the poem by Goethe), and The Fair Melusine. Victor-Marie Hugo (IPA: (26 February 1802 — 22 May 1885) was a French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights campaigner, and perhaps the most influential exponent of the Romantic movement in France. ... “Goethe” redirects here. ... Melusines secret discovered, from One of sixteen paintings by Guillebert de Mets circa 1410. ...


The incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream (op. 61), including the well-known Wedding March, was written in 1843, seventeen years after the overture. Mendelssohns Wedding March is one of the best known of the pieces that he wrote for A Midsummer Nights Dream in 1842. ...


Opera

Mendelssohn wrote some Singspiels for family performance in his youth. His opera "Die beiden Neffen" was rehearsed for him on his fifteenth birthday.[6] In 1827 he wrote a more sophisticated work, Die Hochzeit von Camacho, based on an episode in Don Quixote, for public consumption. It was produced in Berlin in 1827. Mendelssohn left the theatre before the conclusion of the first performance and subsequent performances were cancelled. Singspiel (song-play) is a form of German-language music drama, similar to modern musical theater, though it is also referred to as a type of operetta or opera. ... This article is about the fictional character and novel. ...


Although he never abandoned the idea of composing a full opera, and considered many subjects - including that of the Nibelung saga later adapted by Wagner - he never wrote more than a few pages of sketches for any project. In his last years the manager Benjamin Lumley tried to contract him to write an opera on The Tempest on a libretto by Eugène Scribe, and even announced it as forthcoming in the year of Mendelssohn's death. The libretto was eventually set by Fromental Halévy. At his death Mendelssohn left some sketches for an opera on the story of Lorelei. The Nibelungenlied, translated as The Song of the Nibelungs, is an epic poem in Middle High German. ... Portrait of Lumley by Count DOrsay Benjamin Lumley, opera manager and entrepreneur, was born Benjamin Levy, probably in Canada, about 1811, the son of a Jewish merchant Louis Levy, and died 17th March, 1875 in London. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Augustin Eugène Scribe (December 24, 1791 - February 20, 1861), was a French dramatist and librettist. ... Jacques Fromental Halévy Jacques-François-Fromental-Élie Halévy (May 27, 1799 - March 17, 1862) was a French composer. ... The Rock of Lorelei by the Rhine Lorelei Lorelei Loreley sign on the bank of the Rhine View of the Rhine as seen by Lorelei The Lorelei (originally written as Loreley) is a rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine near St. ...


Concertos

Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor, op. 64 (1844), written for Ferdinand David, has become one of the most popular of all of Mendelssohn's compositions. Many violinists have commenced their solo careers with a performance of this concerto, including Jascha Heifetz, who gave his first public performance of the piece at the age of seven. Felix Mendelssohns Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. ... Ferdinand David (born January 20th, 1810 in Hamburg; died July 19th, 1871 in Klosters) was a German virtuoso violinist and composer. ... Jascha Heifetz (February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1901 – December 10, 1987) was a Jewish Lithuanian-born American violin virtuoso. ...


Mendelssohn also wrote two piano concertos, a less well known, early, violin concerto (D Minor), two concertos for two pianos and orchestra and a double concerto for piano and violin. In addition, there are several works for soloist and orchestra in one movement. Those for piano are the Rondo Brillant, Op. 29 of 1834; the Capriccio Brillant, Op. 22 of 1832; and the Serenade and Allegro Giojoso Op. 43 of 1838. Opp. 113 and 114 are Konzertstücke (concerto movements, originally for clarinet, basset horn and piano, that were orchestrated and performed in that form in Mendelssohn's lifetime. Two soprano clarinets: a Bâ™­ clarinet (left, with capped mouthpiece) and an A clarinet (right, with no mouthpiece). ... Basset horn The basset horn is a musical instrument, a member of the clarinet family. ... Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for orchestra (or, more loosely, for any musical ensemble) or of adapting for orchestra music composed for another medium. ...


Chamber Music

Mendelssohn's mature output contains many chamber works, many of which display an emotional intensity that some people think his larger works lack. In particular his String Quartet No. 6, his last string quartet and major work, written following the death of his sister Fanny, is both powerful and eloquent. Other works include two string quintets, sonatas for the clarinet, cello, viola and violin, two piano trios and three piano quartets. For the Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Mendelssohn unusually took the advice of a fellow-composer, (Ferdinand Hiller) and rewrote the piano part in a more romantic, 'Schumannesque' style, considerably heightening its effect. The String Quartet No. ... Felix Mendelssohn wrote six numbered string quartets which were published during his lifetime: String Quartet No. ... A string quintet is an ensemble of five string instrument players or a piece written for such a combination. ... Two soprano clarinets: a Bâ™­ clarinet (left, with capped mouthpiece) and an A clarinet (right, with no mouthpiece). ... This article is about the stringed musical instrument. ... Felix Mendelssohns Viola Sonata in C minor was composed when he was only 14 years old. ... For the Anne Rice novel, see Violin (novel). ... A piano trio is a group of piano and two other instruments, almost always a violin and a cello, or a piece of music written for such a group. ... A piano quartet is a musical ensemble consisting of a piano and three other instruments, or a piece written for such a group. ... Felix Mendelssohns Piano Trio No. ... Ferdinand Hiller (October 24, 1811 - May 12, 1885), was a German composer of the romantic era. ... For other persons named Robert Schumann, see Robert Schumann (disambiguation). ...


Choral

The two large biblical oratorios, 'St Paul' in 1836 and 'Elijah' in 1846, are greatly influenced by Bach. One of Mendelssohn's most frequently performed sacred pieces is "There Shall a Star Come out of Jacob", a chorus from the unfinished oratorio, 'Christus' (which together with the preceding recitative and male trio comprises all of the existing material from that work). An oratorio is a large musical composition for orchestra, vocal soloists and chorus. ... St. ... Elijah is an oratorio written by Felix Mendelssohn in 1846 for the Birmingham Festival. ... Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas (and occasionally in operettas and even musicals), is melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words. ...


Strikingly different is the more overtly 'romantic' Die erste Walpurgisnacht (The First Walpurgis Night), a setting for chorus and orchestra of a ballad by Goethe describing pagan rituals of the Druids in the Harz mountains in the early days of Christianity. This remarkable score has been seen by the scholar Heinz-Klaus Metzger as a "Jewish protest against the domination of Christianity". Die erste Walpurgisnacht (The First Walpurgis Night) is a cantata for choir and orchestra written by Felix Mendelssohn. ... Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (pronounced [gø tə]) (August 28, 1749–March 22, 1832) was a German writer, politician, humanist, scientist, and philosopher. ... Pagan and heathen redirect here. ... For other uses, see Druid (disambiguation). ... The Harz is a mountain range in northern Germany. ...


Mendelssohn also wrote many smaller-scale sacred works for unaccompanied choir and for choir with organ. Some were written, and most have been translated into English, and remain highly popular. Perhaps the most famous is Hear My Prayer, with its second half containing 'O for the Wings of a Dove', which became extremely popular as a separate item. The piece is written for full choir, organ, and a treble/soprano soloist who has many challenging and extended solo passages. As such, it is a particular favourite for choirboys in churches and cathedrals, and has perhaps been recorded more than any other treble solo. Hear My Prayer (German: Hör mein Bitten) is a Christian hymn for soprano, chorus and organ or orchestra (SATB) written by Felix Mendelssohn in Germany in 1844. ...


Songs

Mendelssohn wrote many songs, both for solo voice and for duet, with piano. Many of these are simple, or slightly modified, strophic settings. Such songs as Auf Flügeln des Gesanges ("On Wings of Song") became popular. Strophic form, or chorus form, is a sectional and/or additive way of structuring a piece of music based on the repetition of one formal section or block played repeatedly. ...


A number of songs written by Mendelssohn's sister Fanny originally appeared under her brother's name; this was partly due to the prejudice of the family, and partly to her own diffidence.


Piano

Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words), eight cycles each containing six lyric pieces (2 published posthumously), remain his most famous solo piano compositions. They became standard parlour recital items, and their overwhelming popularity has caused many critics to under-rate their musical value. Other composers who were inspired to produce similar pieces of their own included Charles Valentin Alkan (the five sets of Chants, each ending with a barcarolle), Anton Rubinstein, Ignaz Moscheles and Edvard Grieg. Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words) are a series of eight musical volumes consisting of six songs each (a total of 48) written for the solo piano by Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn. ... Charles-Valentin Alkan (November 30, 1813–March 29, 1888) was a French composer and one of the greatest virtuoso pianists of his day. ... A barcarolle (from French; also Italian barcarola, barcarole) is a folk song sung by Venetian gondoliers, or a piece of music composed in that style. ... Rubinsteins portrait by Ilya Repin. ... Ignaz Moscheles, from a portrait by his son Felix. ... Edvard Grieg Edvard Hagerup Grieg (15 June 1843 – 4 September 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist who composed in the romantic period. ...


Other notable piano pieces by Mendelssohn include his Variations sérieuses op. 54 (1841), the Seven Characteristic Pieces op. 7 (1827) and the set of six Preludes and Fugues op. 35 (written between 1832 and 1837).


Organ

Mendelssohn played the organ and composed for it from the age of 11 to his death. His primary organ works are the Three Preludes and Fugues, Op. 37 (1837), and the Six Sonatas, Op. 65 (1845).


Media

  • Symphony no. 3 in A minor ("Scottish")
    1st movement: Andante con moto - Allegro un poco agitato
    2nd movement: Scherzo: Vivace non troppo
    3rd movement: Adagio
    4th movement: Allegro vivacissimo - Allegro maestoso assai


    Violin Concerto in E minor Felix Mendelssohn - Symphonie 3 a-moll - 1. ... Felix Mendelssohn - Symphonie 3 a-moll - 2. ... Felix Mendelssohn - Symphonie 3 a-moll - 3. ... Image File history File links Felix Mendelssohn - Symphonie 3 a-moll - 4. ...

    1st movement: Allegro molto appassionato
    2nd movement: Andante
    3rd movement: Allegretto non troppo


    Cello Sonata 2 in D Felix Mendelssohn - Violinkonzert e-moll - 1. ... Felix Mendelssohn - Violinkonzert e-moll - 2. ... Felix Mendelssohn - Violinkonzert e-moll - 3. ...

    Cello Sonata 2 in D , 1st movement
    Cello Sonata 2 in D , 2nd movement
    Cello Sonata 2 in D , 3rd movement
    Cello Sonata 2 in D , 4th movement
    Songs without Words - Book 5 - Funeral March
    Songs Without Words - Book 5 - Morning Song
  • Problems playing the files? See media help.

Image File history File links CELLO_LIVE_PERFORMANCES_JOHN_MICHEL-Mendelssohn_Cello_Sonata_2_in_D_1st. ... Image File history File links CELLO_LIVE_PERFORMANCES_JOHN_MICHEL-Mendelssohn_Cello_Sonata_2_in_D_2nd. ... Image File history File links CELLO_LIVE_PERFORMANCES_JOHN_MICHEL-Mendelssohn_Cello_Sonata_2_in_D_3rd. ... Image File history File links CELLO_LIVE_PERFORMANCES_JOHN_MICHEL-Mendelssohn_Cello_Sonata_2_in_D_4th. ... Image File history File links Mendelssohn_Songs_without_Words_Funeral_March. ... Image File history File links Mendelssohn_Songs_without_Words_Morning_Song. ...

Scores and Recordings

The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) is a project for the creation of a virtual library of public domain music scores, based on the wiki principle. ... The Werner Icking Music Archive, often abbreviated WIMA, is a web archive of public domain sheet music. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

See also

Many of the the thirteen children of Daniel Itzig and Miriam Wulff, and their descendants and spouses, had significant impact on both Jewish and German social and cultural (especially musical) history. ... Abraham Mendelssohn Bartholdy was a German Jewish banker and philanthropist, born Abraham Mendelssohn 10th December 1776 in Berlin, died there 19th December 1835. ...

Bibliography

  • Hensel, Sebastian (1884). The Mendelssohn Family, 4th revised edition.  Edited by Felix's nephew, an important collection of letters and documents about the family.
  • Mercer-Taylor, Peter (2000). The Life of Mendelssohn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521639727. 
  • Moscheles, Charlotte (1873). Life of Moscheles, with selections from his Diaries and Correspondence. 
  • Todd, R. Larry (2003). Mendelssohn - A Life in Music. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195110439. 
  • Werner, Eric (1963). Mendelssohn, A New Image of the Composer and his Age.  A pioneering re-evaluation when first published, now the subject of controversy because of Werner's unnecessarily over-enthusiastic interpretation of some documentation in an attempt to establish Felix's Jewish sympathies. See Musical Quarterly, vols. 82-83, articles by Sposato, Leon Botstein and others.

There are numerous published editions and selections of Felix's letters. A complete edition is now (2006) in preparation but is expected to take twenty years to complete. The Musical Quarterly is an American musical journal. ... Leon Botstein, as photographed during a February 2004 interview with WXBC Radio Bard. ...


The main collections of Mendelssohn's original musical autographs and letters are to be found in the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, the New York Public Library, and the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin. His letters to Moscheles are in the Brotherton Collection, University of Leeds. Entrance to the Library, with the coats-of-arms of several Oxford colleges The Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in England is second in size only to the British Library. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... // The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage) Short history: Founded in 1661 During World War II the entire holdings (at the time some three million books and other materials) were hidden to safety in 30 monasteries, castles and disused mines. ... The University of Leeds is a major teaching and research university, one of the largest in the United Kingdom with over 32,000 full-time students. ...


References

  1. ^ Todd (2003); Werner (1963)
  2. ^ Preface, Fanny Hensel, ed. Camilla Cai, Songs for Pianoforte 1836-7, A-R Editions, Inc., 1994. ISBN 089579293.
  3. ^ Published in 1873 by his wife Charlotte
  4. ^ Charles Rosen, The Romantic Generation, (1998).
  5. ^ It was the only statue in the Palace made of bronze and the only one to survive the fire that destroyed the Palace in 1936. The statue is now situated in Eltham College, London.
  6. ^ Todd, Grove

Bold textThis article is about the school in London, England. ...

Further reading

  • 2006. "MASTERCLASS - The Viola Part of Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream Scherzo". The Strad. 117, no. 1391: 72.

External links

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