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: 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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Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos; Romances / Pine
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Cedille Records  
Catalog: 144   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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Beethoven & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos
Release Date: 02/26/2016   Label: Accentus  
Catalog: 20345   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Wedding March

Browse 76-91 of 91 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony No 4, A Midsumer Night's Dream, Etc
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 61183 Release Date: 03/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
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  • 80.
    Marches / Douglas Major
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 18828 Release Date: 01/25/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Sigfrid Karg-Elert,  William Lloyd Webber  ... 
    Performer:  Douglas Major
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  • 81.
    The Best Of Mendelssohn
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 442302 Release Date: 05/10/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Werner Haas,  Salvatore Accardo
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Charles Dutoit,  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 82.
    Discover The Classics Volume 1
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550035-36 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Johann Pachelbel,  Carl Orff,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Gilbert Rowland,  Norbert Kraft,  Klára Körmendi,  Graciela Alperyn  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Edlinger,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Andrew Mogrelia,  Nicholas Ward  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Chorus,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 83.
    Wedding Music / Bertalan Hock
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550790 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Bertalan Hock,  György Geiger
    Conductor:  István Bogár
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Strauss Ensemble
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  • 84.
    Bride's Guide To Wedding Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64899 Release Date: 09/14/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles-Marie Widor,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Jane Parker-Smith,  Christopher Parkening,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Louis Auriacombe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 85.
    Music For Festive Occasions / Giangiulio, Riedo
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 232 Release Date: 06/15/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stanley,  Bert Truax,  Claude Gervaise,  Dietrich Buxtehude  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Riedo,  Richard Giangiulio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Trumpets
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  • 86.
    Ceremonial Music For Trumpet And Organ / Smedvig, Murray
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80341 Release Date: 04/27/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Battist Martini,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Alan Hovhaness,  Jacques de Saint-Luc  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Murray,  Rolf Smedvig,  Jeffrey Curnow,  Martin Hackleman  ... 
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  • 87.
    Majestic Marches / Hayman, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550370 Release Date: 01/14/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hayman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 88.
    Music For All Occasions
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61488 Release Date: 01/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Irving Berlin,  George Frideric Handel,  Adriaen Valerius  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Krips,  James Galway
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Arthur Fiedler,  James Galway,  Sir Thomas Beecham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chorale,  Boston Pops,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 89.
    Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Szell, Stokowski
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 48264 Release Date: 11/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georges Bizet,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 90.
    Organ Classics / Michael Austin
    Label: Chandos Collect   Catalog: 6518 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Léon Boëllmann,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Austin
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