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 4 & 5, Hebrides / Gardner
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5132   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol. 2 / Howard Shelley
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68059   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: String Quartets / Vogler Quartet
Release Date: 08/16/2005   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 4091   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night's Dream, Piano Concertos / Chailly
Release Date: 06/17/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002082502   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt, Mendelssohn, Clementi: Music For Piano & Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 01/26/2010   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 9028   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Scottish Symphony

Browse 76-100 of 115 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Complete Collections - Mendelssohn: Complete Symphonies, Etc
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 67885 Release Date: 05/31/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Marjana Lipovsek,  Matthias Hölle,  Deon Van der Walt  ... 
    Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Chorus,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    Tribute To Peter Maag - Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Et Al
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47700 Release Date: 02/24/2004   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Benedetto Lupo,  Ana Rodrigo,  Ewa Podles,  Elena De la Merced  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana,  Galicia Symphony Orchestra,  Madrid Community Chorus  ... 
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  • 81.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3, Violin Concerto / Swensen, Scottish CO
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 216 Release Date: 01/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Joseph Swensen
    Conductor:  Joseph Swensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 82.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies 1-5 / Peter Maag, Madrid So, Et Al
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47620 Release Date: 10/28/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Valentina Valente,  Santiago Calderon,  Maria José Suárez
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Madrid Symphony Orchestra,  Orféon Donostiarra
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  • 83.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 4 / Welser-möst, London Po
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 74965 Release Date: 01/07/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies / Dohnányi, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448514 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Edita Gruberova,  Werner Krenn,  Josef Böch,  Sona Ghazarian
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    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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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    Trio - Mendelssohn: Complete Symphonies / Ashkenazy, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470946 Release Date: 05/01/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Juliane Banse,  Sibylla Rubens,  Vinson Cole
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,  South German Radio Choir
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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    Klemperer Legacy - Mendelssohn, Schubert / Bavarian Radio So
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 66868 Release Date: 09/12/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night's Dream, Etc / Maag, London So
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 466990 Release Date: 06/13/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Jennifer Vyvyan,  Marion Lowe
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus Women
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  • 92.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 4 / Norrington, London Classical Players
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 61735 Release Date: 06/06/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Classical Players
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  • 93.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3, Die Hebriden / Haenchen, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 9356 Release Date: 03/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Hartmut Haenchen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
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  • 94.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 4 / Muti, Tennstedt, Et Al
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73558 Release Date: 08/10/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt,  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 95.
    Mendelssohn: The Symphonies Vol 2 / Dohnányi, Vienna Po
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 460239 Release Date: 05/11/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 96.
    Mendelssohn, Schönberg, Debussy / Mitropoulos, Berlin Po
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 488981 Release Date: 11/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 97.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 3 & 4 / Peter Maag, Madrid So
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47506 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Madrid Symphony Orchestra
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  • 98.
    The Best Of Mendelssohn
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556660 Release Date: 10/20/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Benjamin Frith,  Takako Nishizaki,  Péter Nagy
    Conductor:  Robert Stankovsky,  Anthony Bramall,  Kenneth Jean,  Oliver Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra Kosice,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 99.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies 3 & 4, Etc / Karajan, Berlin Po
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 449743 Release Date: 08/12/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 100.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553200 Release Date: 03/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Reinhard Seifried
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
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