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
Mozart & Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos / Dorken, Vogt, Royal Northern Sinfonia
Release Date: 07/29/2016   Label: Ars Produktion  
Catalog: ARS38210   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Scottish Symphony

Browse 51-75 of 99 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Greatest Works - Mendelssohn
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184312 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Peter Arne Rohde,  Renate Schorler,  Valentin Gheorghiu,  Gustav Schmahl
    Conductor:  Herbert Kegel,  Helmut Koch,  Kurt Masur,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Chamber Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 52.
    Basics 25-cd Boxset
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 186002 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
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  • 53.
    Ultimate Mendelssohn - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001084202 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  András Schiff
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 54.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3, Hebrides / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 38112 Release Date: 01/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 4 / Bychkov, London Po
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438304 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Semyon Bychkov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 4 / Claudio Abbado, London So
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000993902 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Mendelssohn: Scottish & Italian Symphonies / Munch, Bso
    Label: Rca Silver Seal   Catalog: 60483 Release Date: 07/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony Nos 3 & 4 / Norrington, London Players
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54000 Release Date: 05/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Classical Players
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  • 59.
    Gemini - Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3-5, Etc / Muti, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 81788 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Moshe Atzmón
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Basics - Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3, Violin Concerto
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8551 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Igor Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 4 / Belohlavek
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3876 Release Date: 10/31/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonia
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  • 62.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies, Piano Concertos, Etc / Masur, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 62769 Release Date: 06/20/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris,  Christiane Oertel,  Edith Wiens,  Friedhelm Eberle
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Chorus
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  • 63.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 4 / Masur, Et Al
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 49817 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 64.
    The Art Of Konwitschny Vol 2 - Beethoven, Bruckner, Mendelssohn
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 2322 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Günter Kootz,  Amadeus Webersinke,  Igor Oistrakh,  Rudolf Schock  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 65.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 5 / Davis
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 5048 Release Date: 02/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 66.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 4 / Norrington, Stuttgart Rso
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93133 Release Date: 01/10/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 67.
    Bernstein Collectors Edition - Schubert, Schumann, Etc
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000532302 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Mischa Maisky,  Justus Frantz
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3; Schumann: Cello Concerto / Konwitschny
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 3254 Release Date: 10/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Jürnjakob Timm
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 69.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 4, Etc / Hanover Band, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7074 Release Date: 05/10/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Christopher Kite,  Benjamin Hudson
    Conductor:  Roy Goodman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
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  • 70.
    Dvorak, Mendelssohn: Symphonies / Goldstone, Clemnow
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 25028 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Anthony Goldstone,  Caroline Clemmow
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  • 71.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies / Weller, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10224 Release Date: 09/21/2004   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Alison Hagley,  Cynthia Haymon,  Peter Straka,  Leslie Pearson
    Conductor:  Walter Weller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 72.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3 & 4 / Klemperer, Vienna So
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 7813 Release Date: 06/11/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Classics - Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3, Etc / Dohnányi
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80184 Release Date: 05/28/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Christine Cairns,  Jon Garrison,  Tom Krause,  Jeffrey Wells
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus
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  • 74.
    Mendelssohn: 5 Symphonies, 7 Overtures / Abbado, London So
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471467 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Elizabeth Connell,  Karita Mattila,  Hans-Peter Blochwitz
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
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  • 75.
    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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