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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: Songs Without Words / Javier Perianes
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902195   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Symphony no 3, Hebrides; Schumann: Piano Concerto / Pires, Gardiner [SACD+Blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 765   Number of Discs: 1
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Reger, Schulhoff, Sherwood, Debussy, Mendelssohn - Piano For Four Hands / Matthias Veit , Henning Lucius
Release Date: 12/09/2014   Label: Telos  
Catalog: 63   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Three Sonatas, Rondo /  Frederic Chiu
Release Date: 06/08/2004   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 3957117   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn, Bruch: Octets / Kodály Quartet, Auer Quartet
Release Date: 04/18/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557270   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Midsummer Night's Dream Overture, in E major Op. 21

Browse 51-75 of 97 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    Summer Moods
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98224 Release Date: 04/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Charles Koechlin,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Dirk Altmann,  Florian Henschel,  Eduard Stan,  Iona Brown  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling,  Thomas Fey,  Patrick Strub,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra,  Heidelberg Symphony,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 53.
    Zeit Zu Zweit
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98249 Release Date: 03/31/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Liszt,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Bunin,  Dale Kavanagh,  Pavlos Hatzopoulos,  Florian Henschel  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus-Peter Hahn,  Horst-Hans Bäcker,  Helmuth Rilling,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow State Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra,  International Philharmonic Orchestra,  Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 54.
    Schubert, Mendelssohn, Mahler / Schippers, Susskind
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5138 Release Date: 03/22/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Lili Chookasian,  Richard Cassilly
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Thomas Schippers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Brahms: Symphony No 1;  Mendelssohn / Kempe, Et Al
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 55201 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan
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  • 56.
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637424492 Release Date: 01/31/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi,  Bedrich Smetana,  Edvard Grieg,  Felix Mendelssohn
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  • 57.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony No 2 / Chailly, Leipzig Gewandhaus
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2054668 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Rihm
    Performer:  Anne Schwanewilms,  Petra Maria Schnitzer,  Peter Seiffert
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 58.
    German Overtures / Thielemann, Vienna PO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474502 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Heinrich Marschner,  Otto Nicolai  ... 
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Mendelssohn: Sinfonie
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000550602 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Petra Maria Schnitzer,  Anne Schwanewilms,  Peter Seiffert
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Chorus,  Leipzig Opera Chorus
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  • 60.
    Original Masters - George Szell
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000491002 Release Date: 08/09/2005   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Pilar Lorengar,  Klausjürgen Wussow
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    Schumann, Mendelssohn: Overtures / Schuricht, Stuttgart Rso
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93155 Release Date: 08/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century / Rafael Kubelik
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 62863 Release Date: 07/13/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith,  Leos Janácek,  Gustav Mahler,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Previn, London So
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 74981 Release Date: 08/19/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Delia Wallis,  Lillian Watson
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finchley Children's Music Group,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Original Masters - Ferenc Fricsay - A Life In Music
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085402 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Maureen Forrester,  Rudolf Schulz,  Margrit Weber,  Ernst Haefliger  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    Wilhelm Furtwängler Conducts Romantic Music
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2036 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Hector Berlioz,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 69.
    Original Masters - Eduard Van Beinum
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000017402 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Alphons Diepenbrock,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Alfredo Campoli,  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Eduard Van Beinum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Etc / Nelson, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 5455322 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Rebecca Evans,  Joyce DiDonato,  Henry Murray,  John Green  ... 
    Conductor:  John Nelson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble,  Oxford and Cambridge Shakespeare Company,  Jeune Choeur de Paris
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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Bernius, Rubens
    Label: Carus   Catalog: 83205 Release Date: 07/16/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Sibylla Rubens,  Claudia Schubert
    Conductor:  Frieder Bernius
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Choir Women,  Stuttgart Baroque Ensemble
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  • 73.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Nikolai Golovanov
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75112 Release Date: 06/04/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  Nikolai S. Golovanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
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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.
    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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