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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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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: 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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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: Octet for Strings in E flat major, Op. 20

Browse 26-50 of 54 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto / Daniel Hope
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001038202 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Sebastian Knauer,  Daniel Hope,  William Conway,  Pascal Siffert  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Hengelbrock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 27.
    Mendelssohn: Concerto For Violin And String Orchestra In D Minor, Octet For Stri
    Label: Membran / Scandinavian Classics   Catalog: 220519 Release Date: 04/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Michael Malmgreen
    Conductor:  Michael Malmgreen
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  • 28.
    Mendelssohn: Octet; Boccherini: Quintet / Marriner, ASMF
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000797102 Release Date: 01/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Luigi Boccherini
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 29.
    Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert: Octets / Melos Ensemble
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 50864 Release Date: 05/02/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London
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  • 30.
    Mendelssohn, Bruch: Octets / Kodály Quartet, Auer Quartet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557270 Release Date: 04/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Zsolt Fejérvári
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kodály String Quartet,  Auer String Quartet
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  • 31.
    Mendelssohn: String Octet, Etc / Prazak Quartet, Et Al
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250221 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Jaromír Klepác,  Jiri Hudec
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prazák String Quartet,  Kocian String Quartet
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  • 32.
    Dvorak, Mendelssohn: Works / Shanghai, Bartok Quartets
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 28059 Release Date: 06/28/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Jiang Yiwen,  Li Hong-Gang,  Li Wei-Gang,  Nicholas Tzavaras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Shanghai String Quartet,  Bartók String Quartet
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  • 33.
    Spohr, Mendelssohn / Camerata De Lausanne
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 28034 Release Date: 01/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis Spohr,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Pierre Amoyal
    Conductor:  Pierre Amoyal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata de Lausanne
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  • 34.
    Mendelssohn: The Complete String Quartets / Emerson Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000388802 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
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  • 35.
    Mendelssohn: Complete String Quartets Vol 4 /Leipzig Quartet
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm) Gold   Catalog: 3071057 Release Date: 05/25/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Matthias Wollong,  Hartmut Rohde,  Yamei Yu,  Michael Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig String Quartet
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  • 36.
    Mendelssohn: Complete Works For Piano 4 Hands / Uriarte, Etc
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47622 Release Date: 07/29/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Begońa Uriarte,  Karl-Hermann Mrongovius
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  • 37.
    Original Masters - Janacek Quartet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474010 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Eva Bernathova
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet,  Smetana String Quartet
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  • 38.
    Mendelssohn: Octet, Sextet / Lincoln Center Society
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3266 Release Date: 11/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Edgar Meyer,  David Golub,  Paul Neubauer,  Toby Hoffman  ... 
    Conductor:  David Shifrin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
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  • 39.
    Mendelssohn: Octet, String Quartet No 1; Spohr / Eder, Kreuzberger
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 3890892 Release Date: 06/25/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Louis Spohr
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Éder String Quartet,  Kreuzberg String Quartet
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  • 40.
    Mendelssohn Octet / Enescu Octet / Boston Chamber Music Society
    Label: Boston Chamber Music Society   Catalog: 5637218533 Release Date: 06/05/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  George Enescu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Chamber Music Society
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  • 41.
    Auryn Series 7
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 94 Release Date: 04/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minguet Quartett,  Auryn String Quartet
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  • 42.
    Auryn Series 7
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 94 Release Date: 04/20/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auryn String Quartet,  Minguet Quartett
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  • 43.
    Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn / Spalding, Philadelphia Virtuosi
    Label: Connoisseur Society   Catalog: 4217 Release Date: 10/27/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Daniel Spalding
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Mendelssohn: Italian Symphony, Violin Concerto, Octet, Etc
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469157 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Anne-Sophie Mutter
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Mendelssohn: Octet, Quintets 1 & 2, Etc / Hausmusik London
    Label: Virgin Classics Veritas   Catalog: 61809 Release Date: 10/10/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Monica Huggett,  Pavlo Beznosiuk,  Roger Chase,  Richard Lester  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hausmusik
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  • 46.
    Mendelssohn, Bargiel: Octets / Divertimenti
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55043 Release Date: 08/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Woldemar Bargiel,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Miranda Fulleylove,  Robin Ireland,  Rachel Isserlis,  Josephine Horder  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Divertimenti
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  • 47.
    Melos Ensemble In Septets And Octets
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 69755 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble Choir
    CD not available
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  • 48.
    Rossini: The Complete String Sonatas;  Et Al / I Musici
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 456330 Release Date: 08/12/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Giovanni Bottesini,  Hugo Wolf
    Performer:  Luciano Vicari,  Lucio Buccarella
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 49.
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 12988 Release Date: 03/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Ervin Lukacs
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  • 50.
    Mendelssohn, Raff: Octets / Asmf Chamber Ensemble
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8790 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Joachim Raff,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.
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