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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: Songs Without Words / Javier Perianes
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902195   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Christus / Piau, Equilbey, Accentus
Release Date: 01/31/2012   Label: Naive  
Catalog: 5265   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Symphony no 3, Hebrides; Schumann: Piano Concerto / Pires, Gardiner [SACD+Blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 765   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Three Sonatas, Rondo /  Frederic Chiu
Release Date: 06/08/2004   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 3957117   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn, Bruch: Octets / Kodály Quartet, Auer Quartet
Release Date: 04/18/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557270   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Wedding March

Browse 51-75 of 129 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    An Introduction To Felix Mendelssohn
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 2025 Release Date: 09/19/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Howard Shelley
    Conductor:  Walter Weller,  Howard Shelley,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Sir Charles Groves
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Mozart Players,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 52.
    Mendelssohn Discoveries: Rare Piano Works / Prosseda
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4763038 Release Date: 06/12/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Roberto Prosseda
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  • 53.
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 95803 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  George Frideric Handel,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
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  • 54.
    The Knot Collection Of Ceremony & Wedding Music
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92826 Release Date: 05/02/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stanley,  Henry Purcell,  George Frideric Handel,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  Wynton Marsalis,  Edward Carroll,  William Neil,  Yo-Yo Ma  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Newman,  Edward Carroll,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Richard Kapp  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Chamber Soloists of Washington,  Utah Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 55.
    Schubert, Mendelssohn, Mahler / Schippers, Susskind
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5138 Release Date: 03/22/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Lili Chookasian,  Richard Cassilly
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Thomas Schippers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Music For A Wedding
    Label: Vox Allegretto   Catalog: 8033 Release Date: 03/16/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Franz Schubert,  Louis-Claude Daquin,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Werner Simons,  Franz Lehrndorfer
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  • 57.
    Label: Vox Classics   Catalog: 97013 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Franz Schubert,  Jules Massenet,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
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  • 58.
    Con Voce Festiva / Barthe, Ohnimus, Specht, Bestert
    Label: Zuk Records   Catalog: 317 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Alessandro Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  Uwe Bestert,  Christian Specht,  Michael Ohnimus,  Julia Barthe
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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    Original Masters - George Szell
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000491002 Release Date: 08/09/2005   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Pilar Lorengar,  Klausjürgen Wussow
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Label: Madacy Records   Catalog: 5650 Release Date: 08/02/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
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  • 66.
    To Have And To Hold - Cherished Favorites For Weddings
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17507 Release Date: 05/24/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Akira Eguchi,  Chee-Yun,  Ayako Shinozaki,  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
    Conductor:  Andrew Manze,  Rudolf Baumgartner,  Jorgen Ernst Hansen,  Emmanuel Krivine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stravaganza Cologne,  I Solisti Italiani,  Lucerne Festival Strings  ... 
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  • 67.
    Música Para Todos - 100 Minituras Clasicas Preferidas
    Label: Yoyo   Catalog: 59200 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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  • 68.
    Mendelssohn - Greatest Hits
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 000395402 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  András Schiff
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra members,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 69.
    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  ... 
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  • 70.
    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  ... 
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  • 71.
    Radiance - A Classic Wedding Vol 2
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17373 Release Date: 06/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Claude Debussy,  Johann Pachelbel,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 72.
    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  ... 
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  • 73.
    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
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  • 74.
    Original Masters - Ferenc Fricsay - A Life In Music
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085402 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Maureen Forrester,  Rudolf Schulz,  Margrit Weber,  Ernst Haefliger  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 75.
    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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