Felix Mendelssohn

Biography

Born: Feb 3, 1809; Germany   Died: Nov 4, 1847; Germany   Period: Romantic
Far from the troubled, coarse libertine that has become an archetype of the Romantic composer, Felix Mendelssohn was something of an anomaly among his contemporaries. His own situation -- one largely of domestic tranquility and unhindered career fulfillment -- stands in stark contrast to the personal Sturm und Drang familiar to his peers. Mendelssohn was the only musical prodigy of the nineteenth century whose stature could rival that of Mozart. Read more Still, his parents resisted any entrepreneurial impulses and spared young Felix the strange, grueling lifestyle that was the lot of many child prodigies. He and his sister Fanny were given piano lessons, and he also studied violin, and both joined the Berlin Singakademie. Carl Friedrich Zelter, director of the Singakademie, became Mendelssohn's first composition instructor. Even in his youth, Mendelssohn moved with natural grace among the circles of influence in society, politics, literature, and art. Although he did spend some time at the University of Berlin, most of his education was received through friendships and travel. Mendelssohn's advocacy was the single most important factor in the revival of Bach's vocal music in the nineteenth century, most famously realized in the 1829 performance of the St. Matthew Passion at the Berlin Singakadamie. He did some touring as a pianist with Ignaz Moscheles, then took the position as music director in Düsseldorf from 1833 to 1835, which involved conducting both the choral and orchestral societies, preparing music for church services and later, becoming intendant for the new theatre. Tension with the theater owner caused him to resign some of his duties, and he began looking for a new post. In 1835, Mendelssohn became municipal music director in Leipzig, where he also would conduct the Gewandhaus Orchestra. He would raise the level of the still-thriving ensemble to a new standard of excellence. In 1838, he married Cécile Jeanrenaud, enjoying an idyllic marriage and family life that was quite unlike the stormy romantic entanglements which profoundly affected such composers as Berlioz, Chopin, and Liszt. He was in demand as a conductor, spent some time as royal composer and music director in Berlin, but remained committed to musical life in Leipzig. He was even able to establish a new conservatory in the city, which is still a well-respected institution.
Mendelssohn was a true Renaissance man. A talented visual artist, he was a refined connoisseur of literature and philosophy. While Mendelssohn's name rarely arises in discussions of the nineteenth century vanguard, the intrinsic importance of his music is undeniable. A distinct personality emerges at once in its exceptional formal sophistication, its singular melodic sense, and its colorful, masterful deployment of the instrumental forces at hand. A true apotheosis of life, Mendelssohn's music absolutely overflows with energy, ebullience, drama, and invention, as evidenced in his most enduring works: the incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream (1826-1842); the Hebrides Overture (1830); the Songs Without Words (1830-1845); the Symphonies No. 3 (1841-1842) and No. 4 (1833); and the Violin Concerto in E minor (1844). While the sunny disposition of so many of Mendelssohn's works has led some to view the composer as possessing great talent but little depth, his religious compositions -- particularly the great oratorios Paulus (1836) and Elijah (1846) -- reflect the complexity and deeply spiritual basis of his personality. Read less
Mendelssohn In Birmingham Vol 2 /  Gardner, City Of Birmingham Symphony
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5139   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Symphonies 1 & 3 / De Vriend, Netherlands Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Challenge  
Catalog: 72641   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: The Piano Trios / Vienna Piano Trio
Release Date: 04/21/1998   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5553   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Complete String Symphonies Vol 2 / Boughton
Release Date: 12/02/1992   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5142   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Church Music / Robinson, St. John's Choir
Release Date: 01/27/1998   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5529   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Wedding March

Browse 1-25 of 141 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4763772 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  Georges Bizet,  Hector Berlioz,  Ron Goodwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Northey,  John Lanchbery,  Jorge Mester,  David Measham  ... 
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  • 2.
    100 Hits: Classical Greats
    Label: 100 Hits   Catalog: 1017490 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Myra Hess,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Myra Hess  ... 
    Conductor:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Members of the Vienna Octet (Members)
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  • 3.
    100 Best Organ Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 332452 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolas Kynaston,  Nicholas Kynaston,  Noel Rawsthorne,  Lionel Rogg  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Menuhin Festival Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservato  ... 
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  • 4.
    50 Best Organ Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 333162 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Louis-Claude Daquin,  Louis-Nicolas Clérambault,  François Couperin  ... 
    Performer:  Lionel Rogg,  Noel Rawsthorne,  Marie-Madeleine Duruflé-Chevalier,  Maurice Duruflé  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Steuart Bedford,  Michel Plasson
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  • 5.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5412002 Release Date: 02/25/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Eric Coates,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Kathryn Stott,  Michael Boriskin,  Todd Levy  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Eugene Ormandy,  Leonard Slatkin,  John Pritchard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players
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  • 6.
    The Best Wedding Music Ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 04106 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johann Pachelbel,  George Frideric Handel,  Jeremiah Clarke  ... 
    Performer:  Frederic Bayco,  Ian Tracey,  Jane Parker-Smith,  Maurice André  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Parrott,  Eric Ericson,  Fritz Lehani,  George Fischer  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 7.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 8.
    Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Symphony No 4 / Abbado
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62826 Release Date: 07/06/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Kenneth Branagh,  Angelika Kirchschlager,  Sylvia McNair
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
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  • 9.
    Mariage / Hervieux, Gauvin, LeBlanc, Taylor, Belanger
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 3009 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Louis Vierne,  César Franck,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Bélanger,  Marc Hervieux,  Régis Rousseau,  Stéphane Beaulac  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Labadie,  Francis Colpron
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy,  Les Boréades Montreal
    CD: $6.99
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  • 10.
    Classics For Your Wedding
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 623247 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johann Pachelbel,  César Franck,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Aldo Ciccolini,  David [Pipe Organ] Briggs,  Katia Labèque,  Marielle Labèque  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Andrew Parrott,  Stephen Cleobury,  Paavo Järvi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Ensemble Orchestral de Paris,  Les Arts Florissants  ... 
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  • 11.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 7317522 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Daniel Adni,  Stephen Hough,  Moura Lympany  ... 
    Conductor:  Efrem Kurtz,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Herbert von Karajan,  Jeffrey Tate  ... 
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  • 12.
    Weddings From The Harp
    Label: Harp Music To Go   Catalog: 8907 Release Date: 11/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Richard Wagner,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Jean Joseph Mouret  ... 
    Performer:  Merry Miller
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  • 13.
    Classics At The Movies
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4764553 Release Date: 08/16/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Giacomo Puccini,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Isador Goodman,  Yvonne Kenny,  Jane Sheldon,  Lauris Elms  ... 
    Conductor:  Patrick Thomas,  Wlodzimierz Kamirski,  William Motzing,  David Measham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantillation,  Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players
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  • 14.
    Wedding Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 82163 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Johann Pachelbel,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Seiffert,  Heinz [Tenor Vocal] Hoppe,  Pilar [Lyric soprano] Lorengar,  Hans Kalafusz  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Heinz Wallberg,  William Christie,  Andrew Parrott  ... 
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  • 15.
    Essential Organ
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94913 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Johann Pachelbel,  Dietrich Buxtehude  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Preston,  Colin Tinley,  Valda Aveling,  Noel Rawsthorne  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Georges Armand,  Michel Plasson
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  • 16.
    Kinderklassik: Classical Music For Children
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300243 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Olivier Messiaen,  Claude Debussy,  Leopold Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Zehetmair,  Siegfried Stöckigt,  Werner Tast,  Peter Rösel  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Zehetmair,  Helmut Koch,  Kurt Masur,  Günther Herbig  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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  • 17.
    Pure... Classical
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7915022 Release Date: 07/05/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Frideric Handel,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Glenn Gould,  Alicia De Larrocha,  André Watts,  Anthony Newman  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Spivakov,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Robert Salter,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra,  Tafelmusik,  Brandenburg Collegium
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  • 18.
    Ultimate Wedding Collection [emi Classics]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27203 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Ian Brown,  Susan Tomes,  Frederic Bayco  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Kilbey,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Kenneth Montgomery  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Taverner Players
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  • 19.
    Music For A Royal Wedding
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4674219 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Pachelbel,  George Frideric Handel,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Jorgen Ernst Hansen,  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Camille Maurane  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Raymond Leppard,  Edward Higginbottom,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capricorn (Ensemble),  Il Giardino Armonico
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  • 20.
    Best Wedding 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48501 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  Richard Wagner,  Giovanni Battist Martini,  Norwegian Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Jane Parker-Smith,  Maurice André,  Frederic Bayco,  Ole Edvard Antonsen  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Kenneth Montgomery,  David Munrow  ... 
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  • 21.
    The Classic Sound - Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3, Midsummer Night's Dream / Maag
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443578 Release Date: 04/07/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Music For A Royal Wedding [silva Screen]
    Label: Silva Screen   Catalog: 1358 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Benjamin,  Richard Wagner,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Rick Clark,  Helena Blackman,  Lesley Garrett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Massed Fanfare Trumpets
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  • 23.
    Label: Northquest   Catalog: 315000 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Richard Wagner,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
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  • 24.
    Icon - Rudolf Kempe
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 29557 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier,  Sylvia Geszty,  Teresa Zylis-Gara,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 25.
    Marchenstunde: Fairytale Hours
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300088 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Olbertz,  Peter Schreier,  Magdalena Falewicz
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Günther Herbig,  Kurt Masur,  Heinz Rögner
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