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: Incidental Music for Antigone, Oedipus & Athalia
Release Date: 06/28/2011   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94216   Number of Discs: 3
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Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 2 / Howard Shelley
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68059   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Double Concerto, Octet / Tognetti, Leschenko, Australian Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 03/26/2013   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1984   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night's Dream, Piano Concertos / Chailly
Release Date: 06/17/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002082502   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Symphonies 4 & 5, Hebrides / Gardner
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5132   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Wedding March

Browse 101-125 of 145 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Processional & Reflective Music For Weddings /Offstage Brass
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 7218 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stanley,  Alistair King,  Gabriel Fauré,  William Byrd  ... 
    Conductor:  Tim Hawes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra Off-Stage Brass
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  • 102.
    Mendelssohn - Gala Concert From The Gewandhaus, Leipzig
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 100031 Release Date: 11/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Frank-Michael Erben
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 103.
    The Royal Golden Wedding / Westminster Abbey Choir
    Label: Griffin   Catalog: 4017 Release Date: 07/25/2000  
    Composer:  Basil Harwood,  Gordon Jacob,  Francis Jackson,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Baker
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir,  London Brass
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  • 104.
    40 Famous Marches
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 466241 Release Date: 02/08/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Sir Arthur Bliss,  Sir William Walton,  Carl Nielsen  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Hurford,  Simon Preston,  Carlo Curley
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Bernard Herrmann,  Roger Norrington,  Herbert Blomstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 105.
    Best Of The Millennium - Top 40 Classical Hits
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463240 Release Date: 02/08/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé,  Cheryl Studer,  Mischa Maisky,  Yuli Reyentovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Norman Del Mar,  Daniel Barenboim,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
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  • 106.
    The Organ Transcription In France / Arturo Sacchetti
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47556 Release Date: 01/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benedetto Marcello,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Sacchetti
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  • 107.
    Classical Weddings
    Label: Platinum Disc   Catalog: 1062 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Pachelbel,  Otto Nicolai,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 108.
    A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999) - Original Soundtrack
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 466098 Release Date: 04/20/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Pietro Mascagni,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Roberto Alagna,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Marcello Giordani,  Renée Fleming  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Evelino Pidň,  Herbert von Karajan,  Terry Davies  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra,  Lyon National Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 109.
    The Classic Wedding Album /Domingo, Terfel, Te Kanawa, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445478 Release Date: 03/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles-Marie Widor,  Felix Mendelssohn,  George Frideric Handel,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Preston,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  José Carreras,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Leonard Bernstein,  Paul Daniel,  Karl-Heinz Loges  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
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  • 110.
    Cinema Classics 11
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 556631 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Umberto Giordano,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Csaba Onczay,  Bertalan Hock,  Jénö Jandó,  Giorgio Lamberti  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari,  Richard Edlinger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava,  Capella Istropolitana
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  • 111.
    The Complete Wedding Album - There Is Love
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80490 Release Date: 04/28/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Richard Wagner,  Samuel Barber,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Angel Romero,  Joseph Silverstein,  Larry Cooperman,  Michael Chertock  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Erich Kunzel,  Leonard Slatkin,  Keith Clark  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Chorus,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops  ... 
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  • 112.
    Classical Wedding Vol 2
    Label: Spring Hill Music   Catalog: 825448 Release Date: 04/21/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Joseph Brackett,  John Stanley,  Giovanni Gabrieli  ... 
    Performer:  John Rommel,  Jeff Bailey,  Leslie Norton,  Barry Green  ... 
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  • 113.
    The Yellow Guide - Classical Music
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457440 Release Date: 03/17/1998   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Marita Napier,  Marilyn Mims,  Linda Kelm,  Diane Kesling  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  James Levine,  Semyon Bychkov,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  English Concert Choir,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 114.
    Greatest Hits - The Wedding Album
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 63153 Release Date: 03/10/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Jean Joseph Mouret,  Henry Purcell,  Sigfrid Karg-Elert  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  William McVicker,  Melvyn Tan,  Marisa Robles  ... 
    Conductor:  John Poole,  James Galway,  Robert Salter,  Richard Westenburg  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Singers,  Canadian Brass  ... 
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  • 115.
    The Best Of Mendelssohn
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556660 Release Date: 10/20/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Benjamin Frith,  Takako Nishizaki,  Péter Nagy
    Conductor:  Robert Stankovsky,  Anthony Bramall,  Kenneth Jean,  Oliver Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra Kosice,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 116.
    Baroque For Brides To Be
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 456355 Release Date: 04/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  C. Bowers-Broadbent,  Emma Kirkby,  Norbert Schmitt  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Silvio Varviso,  Helmut Winschermann  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
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  • 117.
    The Ultimate Wedding Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 452663 Release Date: 03/03/1997  
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Pachelbel  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Cleobury
    Conductor:  Karl Münchinger,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra,  Simon Preston
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  • 118.
    Erich Kleiber Dirigiert Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90287 Release Date: 09/24/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Georges Bizet,  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 119.
    Classical Wedding
    Label: Spring Hill Music   Catalog: 25353 Release Date: 04/30/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jean Joseph Mouret,  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  David Davidson,  Craig Duncan,  Jim Grosjean,  Robert Mason  ... 
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  • 120.
    For Weddings / Kevin Bowyer
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7712 Release Date: 04/02/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Sir William Walton,  John Stanley,  Charles-Marie Widor  ... 
    Performer:  Kevin Bowyer
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  • 121.
    The Wedding Album
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 99709 Release Date: 02/13/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Pachelbel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Pierlot,  Rotraud Hansmann,  Felicity Lott,  Marie-Claire Alain  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Corboz,  Claudio Scimone,  Jean-François Paillard,  Theodor Guschlbauer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berne Symphony Orchestra,  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle,  I Solisti Veneti  ... 
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  • 122.
    Halleluja / Helmuth Rilling
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98845 Release Date: 11/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus  ... 
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  • 123.
    An Evening With The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 68860 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Emil Waldteufel  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Rabin,  Leonard Pennario
    Conductor:  Felix Slatkin,  Carmen Dragon,  Miklós Rózsa,  Earl Bernard Murray  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 124.
    Mendelssohn - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64595 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  André Previn,  Elly Ameling,  Rudolf Jansen,  Michie Koyama  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Eugene Ormandy,  Michael Tilson Thomas  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Smithsonian Chamber Players,  L'Archibudelli  ... 
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  • 125.
    Oxford Book Of Wedding Music / Jeremy D. Filsell
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 7107 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Sir William Walton,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Andrew Carter  ... 
    Performer:  Jeremy Filsell
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