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: Complete Symphonies, String Symphonies, Concertos / Markiz, Litton
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2002   Number of Discs: 11
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Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos; Romances / Pine
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Cedille Records  
Catalog: 144   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2 / Gould Piano Trio
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Champs Hill Records  
Catalog: 88   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos
Release Date: 02/26/2016   Label: Accentus  
Catalog: 20345   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Lieder ohne Worte, Books 5-8 / Brautigam
Release Date: 06/10/2016   Label: Bis  
Catalog: BIS-1983   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Wedding March

Browse 1-25 of 91 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Purple Classics Presents: Ballet Highlights
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578334 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Léo Delibes
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Anthony Bramall,  Ondrej Lenárd,  Andrew Mogrelia
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 2.
    Shakespeare in Music & Words
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002488902 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Gerald Finzi,  Charles Gounod,  Nino Rota  ... 
    Performer:  Amy Dickson,  Renée Fleming,  André Rieu,  Jennifer Vyvyan  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Nicholas Collon,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Ernest Ansermet  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Aurora Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 3.
    Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era (1948-1957)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002457272 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Askenase,  Shura Cherkassky,  Halina Czerny-Stefanska,  Basile Bolotine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Karl Böhm,  Serge Jaroff,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $139.99
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  • 4.
    Philips Classics: The Stereo Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002445602 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elly Ameling,  Dalton Baldwin,  Jörg Demus  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Bernard Haitink,  Raymond Leppard,  Eduard Van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $134.49
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  • 5.
    Classic Marches - Elgar, Verdi, Strauss
    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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  • 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: $7.99
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  • 7.
    Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Symphony No 4 / Abbado
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62826 Release Date: 06/29/2012   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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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
    CD: $13.99
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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 Domingo,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Camille Maurane  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Raymond Leppard,  Edward Higginbottom,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capricorn (Ensemble),  Il Giardino Armonico
    CD: $18.99
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    Essential Wedding
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27937 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Tasmin Little,  Piers Lane,  Frederic Bayco  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Kilbey,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Kenneth Montgomery  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Camerata Lysy,  Liverpool Cathedral & Brass Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 16.
    50 Classical Music Favorites
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001388102 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Luigi Boccherini,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Italo Colandrea,  Antonio Perez,  Michael Copley  ... 
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen,  Sir Colin Davis,  Kurt Masur,  Silvio Varviso  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
    CD: $11.99
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  • 17.
    Live From Dresden - Wedding At The Opera / Andre Rieu
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17791 Release Date: 11/03/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz Lehár,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Paul A. Martini  ... 
    Performer:  André Rieu
    Conductor:  André Rieu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Johann Strauss Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    Best Wedding 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64262 Release Date: 06/16/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Ian Brown,  Christopher van Kampen,  Susan Tomes  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Reginald Kilbey,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Vienna String Sextet Members,  Ensemble Berlin  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    Spectacular Marches / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38129 Release Date: 04/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Traditional,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, Midsummer Night's Dream / Chen, Glover
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28230 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Leland Chen
    Conductor:  Jane Glover
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 21.
    The Mendelssohn Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 517453 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris,  Barbara Bonney,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Maxim Vengerov  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Raymond Leppard,  Armin Jordan,  Edward Higginbottom
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Éder String Quartet  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 22.
    The Most Relaxing Classical Music In The Universe - Music For Weddings
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17719 Release Date: 01/13/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Otto Büchner,  Peter Schmalfuss,  Renate Modron,  Peter Jancovic  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lizzio,  Hanspeter Gmür,  Oliver Dohnányi,  Bohdan Warchal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musici di San Marco,  Munich Bach Soloists,  Slovak Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 23.
    Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night's Dream, Etc / Dutoit, Montreal
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 417541 Release Date: 12/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Popular Orchestral Classics / Neville Marriner
    Label: Philips Touch Of Classics   Catalog: 420814 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 25.
    Leipzig Classics
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149252 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Edvard Grieg,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Richard Wagner  ... 
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