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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 & Bach: Magnificats in D Major
Release Date: 10/27/2009   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572161   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: Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2 / Fischer, Muller-Schott, Gilad
Release Date: 02/10/2017   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186609   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Complete String Quartets / Pacifica Quartet
Release Date: 04/26/2005   Label: Cedille Records  
Catalog: 82   Number of Discs: 3
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Schumann & Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos / Fliter, Mendez, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Linn Records  
Catalog: 555   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Scottish Symphony

Browse 26-50 of 102 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Sir Colin Davis - Staatskapelle Dresden
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 13032 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Hector Berlioz,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Keith Ikaia-Purdy,  Ute Selbig
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden Singakademie,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
    CD: $78.99
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  • 27.
    The Magic Mountain - Verbier Festival 20th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 3079078 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Renaud Capuçon,  Martha Argerich,  Martin Helmchen,  Malcolm Martineau  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Gábor Takács-Nagy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verbier Festival Orchestra,  UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra,  Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra
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  • 28.
    Claudio Abbado - The Symphony Edition [41-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001846502 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Violeta Urmana,  Thomas Moser,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Karita Mattila  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Mozart,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Claudio Abbado – The Decca Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001847802 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  James King,  Leslie Fyson,  Nicolai Ghiaurov
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Chorus  ... 
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  • 30.
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 381182 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Ola Rudner
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  • 31.
    Romantic Symphonies & Overtures / Klemperer
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 404309 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Antonín Dvorák,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Heather Harper
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Mendelssohn: Complete Symphonies, String Symphonies, Concertos / Markiz, Litton
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2002 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Jennifer Larmore,  Judith Howarth,  Christoph Prégardien,  Isabelle van Keulen  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton,  Lev Markiz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
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  • 33.
    Mendelssohn: 'Scottish' And 'Italian' Symphonies / Laredo, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7085 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Jaime Laredo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies 3 & 5; Ruy Blas Overture / Bernstein, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47591 Release Date: 06/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 35.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10132 Release Date: 05/25/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jascha Heifetz,  Rudolf Serkin,  Rita Streich  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alfred Scholz,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 36.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4; Schumann: Symphony No. 4 / Klemperer, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55910 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Great Romantic Symphonies
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501057 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Sidney Green,  Imrich Szabo
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Alexander Rahbari,  Antoni Wit,  Reinhard Seifried  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Failoni Orchestra Budapest,  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 38.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies 3 & 4 / Munch, Boston Symphony
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5039 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Icon: William Steinberg
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 26486 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Rudolf Firkusny
    Conductor:  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 4 / Holliger, Musikkollegium Winterthur
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 901163 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Heinz Holliger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musikkollegium Winterthur
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  • 41.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 / Harnoncourt, Chamber Orchestra Of Europe
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 673910 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 42.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 / Vasary, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1140 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Tamás Vásáry
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 43.
    The Classic Sound - Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3, Midsummer Night's Dream / Maag
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443578 Release Date: 04/04/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Mendelssohn In Verbier / Yuja Wang
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 3079248 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Maxim Rysanov,  Kirill Troussov,  Yuja Wang,  David Aaron Carpenter  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verbier Festival Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Mendelssohn: Complete Symphonies / Dohnanyi, Vienna Philharmonic [4-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001480002 Release Date: 10/19/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Josef Böch,  Edita Gruberova,  Sona Ghazarian,  Horst Laubenthal  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 46.
    Toscanini - Mendelssohn 200th Anniversary Tribute
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2358/59 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Edna Philips,  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 5 / Haitink, London Philharmonic
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 420884 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies 3 & 5 / Litton, Bergen Philharmonic
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1604 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Mendelssohn Highlights
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149502 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Renate Schorler,  Valentin Gheorghiu,  Igor Oistrach
    Conductor:  Herbert Kegel,  Franz Konwitschny,  Kurt Masur,  Günther Herbig
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  • 50.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3, 4, & 5 / Bruggen, 18th Century
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 456267 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the 18th Century
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