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: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4 / Gardiner, London Symphony
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 0769   Number of Discs: 2
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Mendelssohn & Schumann: Violin Concertos / Widmann, Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Ecm  
Catalog: 002552402   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: String Quartets, Op. 44 Nos. 1 & 3 / Parker Quartet
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: NI6327   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: String Quartets Nos. 5 & 6 / Escher String Quartet
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2160   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Wedding March

Browse 51-75 of 100 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Tomoko & Kurt Masur - Partners In Life And Music
    Label: Querstand   Catalog: 419 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Gabriel Fauré,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Kurt Masur,  Tomoko Masur,  Carolin Masur,  Ken-David Masur  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mendelssohn University Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Perfect Autumn Wedding
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557978 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
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  • 53.
    Perfect Spring Wedding
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557976 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
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  • 54.
    Perfect Summer Wedding
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557979 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Adolf Hasse  ... 
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  • 55.
    Perfect Wedding
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557975 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  Johann Adolf Hasse,  George Frideric Handel,  Giovanni Gabrieli  ... 
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  • 56.
    Perfect Winter Wedding
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557977 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Torelli,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georg Christoph Wagenseil,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
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  • 57.
    Música Para Todos - 100 Minituras Clasicas Preferidas
    Label: Yoyo   Catalog: 59020 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Festival Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Classical Music 101 - 101 Famous Classical Themes
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63691 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Igor Stravinsky,  Georges Bizet,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  José Luis Garcia,  Placido Domingo,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Barry Douglas  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Fritz Reiner,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 59.
    Wedding Music - Bach, Mozart, Etc
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 4984 Release Date: 08/17/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Traditional,  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 60.
    The Essential Wedding Collection
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000233302 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Andrew Wright,  Francis Lai,  Bryan Adams,  Giorgio Moroder  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Peter Hurford,  Richard Farnes,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Conductor:  Nick Ingman,  Michael Kamen,  Julius Rudel,  Wyn Morris  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 61.
    Mendelssohn: Orchestral Masterpieces / Golschmann, Et Al
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1274 Release Date: 03/09/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Mischa Elman
    Conductor:  Vladimir Golschmann,  Felix Prohaska
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 62.
    Classics - Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night's Dream, Symphony 4
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80318 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Yoel Levi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Mendelssohn Highlights / Marriner, Hager, Rilling, Et Al
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98430 Release Date: 04/29/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Dmitri Sitkovetsky,  Wolfgang Schöne,  Christine Schäfer,  Cornelia Kallisch  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Hager,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Helmuth Rilling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Prague Philharmonia  ... 
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  • 64.
    For Your Life - For Your Wedding
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000003312 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  John Stanley,  Edvard Grieg,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Thelma Owen,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Leontyne Price  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Agoult,  Heinrich Steiner,  Rafael Kubelik,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra,  Michael Laird Brass Ensemble,  Nordmark Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 65.
    Bear Essentials - Wedding Classics
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 2411 Release Date: 03/25/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Théodore Dubois,  John Stanley,  George Frideric Handel,  Charles-Marie Widor  ... 
    Performer:  Francis Jackson,  Richard Marlow,  Ian Tracey,  Gillian Weir  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox,  Yan Pascal Tortelier,  Robert Gibson,  Simon Standage  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Musicum 90 Choir,  Collegium Musicum 90,  Ulster Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    The Four Seasons - A Musical Calendar Of Favorite Classics
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 469376 Release Date: 01/13/2003   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Karl Goldmark,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Shlomo Mintz  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Arthur Fiedler,  Neeme Järvi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Boston Pops  ... 
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  • 67.
    The Best Of Classical - Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Et Al
    Label: United Multimedia   Catalog: 6265 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  George Gershwin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
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  • 68.
    A Bride's Guide To Wedding Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8503134 Release Date: 02/19/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Sir William Walton,  Théodore Dubois,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    CD: $25.49
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  • 69.
    The Wedding Album - Pachelbel, Wagner, Et Al / De Chiaro
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2565 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Francisco Tarrega,  Moshe Nathanson,  Albert Hay Malotte  ... 
    Performer:  Giovanni De Chiaro
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  • 70.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, Ruy Blas Overture, Etc / Previn, Menuhin, London Symphony
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 74519 Release Date: 08/14/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Efrem Kurtz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $7.99
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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    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
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    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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