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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: Lieder Ohne Worte / 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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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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Mendelssohn: Christus / Piau, Equilbey, Accentus
Release Date: 01/31/2012   Label: Naive  
Catalog: 5265   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Italian Symphony

Browse 101-125 of 153 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    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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  • 102.
    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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  • 103.
    Doublemasters - Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night's Dream, Etc
    Label: Vox Classics   Catalog: 90117 Release Date: 11/04/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
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  • 104.
    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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  • 105.
    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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  • 106.
    Original Masters - Josef Krips
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000017702 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Inge Borkh,  Zara Nelsova
    Conductor:  Josef Krips
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 107.
    Mendelssohn Highlights / Marriner, Hager, Rilling, Et Al
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98430 Release Date: 04/29/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Christine Schäfer,  Cornelia Kallisch,  Michael Schade,  Wolfgang Schöne  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling,  Leopold Hager,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium,  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart,  Prague Chamber Chorus  ... 
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  • 108.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 5; Mendelssohn: Symphony No 4 / Davis
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186102 Release Date: 03/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 109.
    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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  • 110.
    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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  • 111.
    Mendelssohn: Hebrides, Etc / Heer, Orchestra Istropolitana
    Label: Claves   Catalog: 2102 Release Date: 08/27/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Daniel Röhn
    Conductor:  David Heer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Istropolitana
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  • 112.
    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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  • 113.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Fritz Busch
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75103 Release Date: 06/04/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Waldemar Wolsing,  Carl Bloch,  Leo Hansen,  Alberto Medici
    Conductor:  Fritz Busch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish State Radio Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 114.
    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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  • 115.
    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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  • 116.
    Brahms, Mendelssohn / Stokowski, National Po
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 531 Release Date: 04/30/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 117.
    Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn: Symphonies /Cantelli, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Références   Catalog: 74801 Release Date: 03/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert
    Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 118.
    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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  • 119.
    The Monet Collection - Classical Meditations
    Label: Lifestyles   Catalog: 315016 Release Date: 05/01/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Alexander Rakhlis,  Alexander Kiskachin,  Sergei Uryvaev,  Vasily Viland
    Conductor:  Jooyang Ahn,  Saulius Sondeckis,  Stanislav Gorkovenko,  Alexander Titov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Camerata of the Hermitage Museum,  Russian Radio/TV Orchestra of St. Petersburg  ... 
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  • 120.
    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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  • 121.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 553230 Release Date: 10/05/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Anthony Bramall,  Antoni Wit
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  • 122.
    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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  • 123.
    Classics For The Occasion - Net Surfin'
    Label: Columbia River Entertainment   Catalog: 1059 Release Date: 01/30/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  James Loughran,  Antonio Pedrotti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 124.
    Bernstein Century - Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 61843 Release Date: 01/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 125.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony No 4;  Brahms: Symphony No 3 /Cantelli
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1173 Release Date: 11/16/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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