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 No 3 & 4 / Sanderling, RPO
Release Date: 09/14/2010   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28340   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words / Ronan O'Hora
Release Date: 05/10/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 29060   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, Midsummer Night's Dream / Chen, Glover
Release Date: 03/10/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28230   Number of Discs: 1
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Music From Marlboro – Casals: Six Songs; Dvorak, Mendelssohn: Duets
Release Date: 06/28/2011   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 92168   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn, The Nazis and Me - A film by Sheila Hayman
Release Date: 01/26/2010   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4511   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Wedding March

Browse 76-100 of 141 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Heart Strings: Beautiful Classics For Romantic Times
    Label: Crimson Productions   Catalog: 258 Release Date: 06/07/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Lucy Parham,  Peter Dagenhardt,  Roderick Elms,  David K. Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper,  Philip Gibson,  Laurence Gordon Siegel
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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    Wedding Classics - 20 Of Your Wedding Favorites
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 5866592 Release Date: 03/07/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Charles-Marie Widor,  Sigfrid Karg-Elert,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jane Parker-Smith,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Noel Rawsthorne,  Maurice André  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Maurice Handford  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Chamber Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    Original Masters - Ferenc Fricsay - A Life In Music
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085402 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Frank Martin,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Gottfried von Einem,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Performer:  Irmgard Helmis,  Gerty Herzog,  Sylvia Kind,  Diana Eustrati  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus  ... 
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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    The #1 Wedding Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000027402 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  John Stanley,  Helen Guy,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Laird,  Peter Hurford,  Placido Domingo,  Wolfgang Marschner  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl-Heinz Loges,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Heinrich Steiner,  Roberto Benzi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Michael Laird Brass Ensemble,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 87.
    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:  Christine Schäfer,  Cornelia Kallisch,  Michael Schade,  Wolfgang Schöne  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling,  Leopold Hager,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium,  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart,  Prague Chamber Chorus  ... 
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  • 88.
    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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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    The Four Seasons - A Musical Calendar Of Favorite Classics
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 469376 Release Date: 01/13/2003   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Astor Piazzolla,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Leroy Anderson  ... 
    Performer:  Patrick Gallois,  Göran Söllscher,  Dino Ciani,  Jörg Demus  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Claudio Abbado,  Lorin Maazel,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Boston Pops  ... 
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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    Debut Series - Toscanini - My First Record
    Label: Fono Enterprise   Catalog: 1047 Release Date: 02/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Arrigo Boito,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ildebrando Pizzetti  ... 
    Performer:  Giulietta Simionato,  Herva Nelli,  Frank Guarrera
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 93.
    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  ... 
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  • 94.
    I Do - Classical Wedding Music
    Label: Golden Stars   Catalog: 5326 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Eduardo Di Capua  ... 
    Performer:  Gabriele Fuchs,  Peter Dvorsky,  Bojan Gorisek,  Georgi Robev  ... 
    Conductor:  Bohdan Warchal,  Ernst Hinreiner,  Marko Munih,  Ondrej Lenárd  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Chamber Orchestra,  Salzburg Camerata Academica,  Consortium Musicum Ljubljana  ... 
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  • 95.
    The Classics - Mendelssohn: Symphony No 4, Etc / Mackerras
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 61975 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
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  • 96.
    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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  • 97.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, Ruy Blas Overture, Etc
    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
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  • 98.
    Eloquence - Beautiful Wedding Melodies - Wagner, Bach, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 469613 Release Date: 04/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Charles-Marie Widor,  Gio Bonaventura Viviani  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Preston,  Hedwig Bilgram,  Maurice André,  Bernhard Läubin  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Carlos Kleiber,  Herbert von Karajan,  Simon Preston  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 99.
    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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  • 100.
    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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