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: Italian Symphony

Browse 126-150 of 171 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    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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  • 127.
    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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  • 128.
    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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  • 129.
    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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  • 130.
    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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  • 131.
    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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  • 132.
    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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  • 133.
    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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  • 134.
    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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  • 135.
    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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  • 136.
    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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  • 137.
    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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  • 138.
    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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  • 139.
    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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  • 140.
    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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  • 141.
    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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  • 142.
    Immortal Toscanini Vol 5 - Schubert, Mendelssohn: Symphonies
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 159480 Release Date: 08/10/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 143.
    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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  • 144.
    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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  • 145.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony No 4 & 5 / Gardiner, Vienna Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459156 Release Date: 03/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 146.
    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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  • 147.
    Take 2 - Mendelssohn: Symphony No 4, Etc / Ormandy, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 63251 Release Date: 11/18/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Zino Francescatti
    Conductor:  Louis Lane,  George Szell,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra members,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 148.
    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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  • 149.
    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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  • 150.
    Mendelssohn: Complete Symphonies Vol 2, Violin Concerto / Haitink, Grumiaux
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 456074 Release Date: 03/11/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Rae Woodland,  Helen Watts,  Arthur Grumiaux
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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