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: 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: Symphonies No 4 & 5, Hebrides / Gardner
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5132   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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Mendelssohn: String Quartets / Vogler Quartet
Release Date: 08/16/2005   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 4091   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: Italian Symphony

Browse 101-125 of 171 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Sergei Koussevitzky (Box)
    Label: Membran International Gmbh   Catalog: 1073089 Release Date: 04/27/2006   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Howard Hanson,  Roy Harris,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  William Primrose
    Conductor:  Serge Koussevitzky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 102.
    Sergiu Celibidache (Box)
    Label: Membran International Gmbh   Catalog: 1073091 Release Date: 04/27/2006   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith,  Albert Roussel,  Benjamin Britten,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Gerhard Puchelt,  Siegfried Borries,  Pierre Fournier
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 103.
    Classic Library - Mendelssohn: Symphonies 3 & 4, Etc / Flor
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 76234 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 104.
    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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  • 105.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 4 & 5, Etc / Munch, Boston So
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 71616 Release Date: 02/07/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 106.
    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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  • 107.
    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
    CD: $69.99
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  • 108.
    Mendelssohn: Symphonies No 4 & 5 / Munch, Boston So
    Label: Jvc Xrcd   Catalog: 24028 Release Date: 06/21/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 109.
    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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  • 110.
    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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  • 111.
    Lorin Maazel - Complete Early Berlin Philharmonic Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000389202 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 112.
    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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  • 113.
    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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  • 114.
    Jascha Horenstein - Broadcast Performances From Paris
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1146 Release Date: 08/31/2004   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Samuel Barber,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Lola Bobesco,  Marian Anderson,  Pilar Lorengar,  Marga Höffgen  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Sergiu Celibidache
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 62872 Release Date: 07/13/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 116.
    Guido Cantelli - The Nbc Broadcast Concerts
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1336 Release Date: 07/13/2004   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Don Gillis,  Claude Debussy,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Max Hollander,  Mischa Mishakov,  Ben Grauer,  Frank Miller  ... 
    Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 117.
    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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  • 118.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $79.98
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  • 119.
    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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  • 120.
    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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  • 121.
    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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  • 122.
    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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  • 123.
    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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  • 124.
    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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  • 125.
    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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