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 in Birmingham, Vol. 4 / Pike, Gardner, City of Birmingham Symphony
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5161   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Works for Cello & Piano / Watkins, Watkins
Release Date: 11/15/2011   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10701   Number of Discs: 1
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Noel Nouvelet - Mendelssohn, Rutter, Leighton, Lauridsen, Hakim, Etc / Backhouse, Filsell, Vasari Singers
Release Date: 10/14/2008   Label: Guild  
Catalog: 7314   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Complete Organ Sonatas / William Whitehead
Release Date: 07/28/2009   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10532   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Symphonies 4 & 5, Hebrides / Gardner
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5132   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: On the Wings of Song (Auf Flügeln des Gesanges)

Browse 26-50 of 89 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Mendelssohn: Works For Cello And Piano / Muller-Schott, Gilad
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 750101 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Daniel Müller-Schott,  Jonathan Gilad
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  • 27.
    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau: The Lieder Singer - 85th Birthday - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 56352 Release Date: 04/06/2010   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Hugo Wolf,  Edvard Grieg,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Daniel Barenboim,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Gerald Moore
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  • 28.
    Brana Records Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Brana Records   Catalog: 31 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi,  Leonardo Vinci,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Annette Céline,  Felicja Blumental
    Conductor:  Alberto Zedda,  Theodor Guschlbauer,  Michiyoshi Inoue,  Jörg Faerber
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  • 29.
    Cellobration / Amit Peled, Eliza Ching
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3047 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Karl Davidov,  Henry Eccles,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Amit Peled,  Eliza Ching
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  • 30.
    100 Best Violin
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 967007 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Luigi Boccherini,  Tommaso Antonio Vitali  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Cocker,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Nathan Milstein,  Leon Pommers  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lysy,  Anthony Halstead,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Salvatore Accardo  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante,  Hanover Band,  Alban Berg String Quartet
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  • 31.
    Best Violin 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 58521 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  Vittorio Monti,  Fritz Kreisler,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Tasmin Little,  John Lenehan,  Leon Pommers,  Nathan Milstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Felix Slatkin,  Alceo Galliera,  Iain Sutherland,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante,  Virtuosi,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 32.
    State Of The Art - The Story Of Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341102 Release Date: 12/15/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Rafal Blechacz,  Kathleen Battle,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort,  Andalucian Dogs
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  • 33.
    Guitarre - Greatest Works / Barbara Richter, Monika Rost, Dieter Rumstig
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 12352 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Vincenzo Galilei,  Luis de Narváez,  Isaac Albeniz,  Fernando Sor  ... 
    Performer:  Dieter Rumstig,  Barbara Richter,  Monika Röst,  Klaus Feldmann  ... 
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  • 34.
    50 Classics For Relaxation / Ingman, Gerhardt, Gamley, Et Al
    Label: Time/Life Music   Catalog: 24742 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Paul A. Martini  ... 
    Performer:  Keith Harvey,  José Luis Garcia,  Larry Dalton,  Skaila Kanga  ... 
    Conductor:  David Firman,  Franck Pourcel,  Charles Gerhardt,  Eric Hammerstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Franck Pourcel Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 35.
    Mendelssohn: Songs / Mammel, Schoonderwoerd
    Label: Carus   Catalog: 83430 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Hans Jörg Mammel,  Felix Mendelssohn
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  • 36.
    Classic Archive - Great Voices From The Golden Age
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 3078538 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Werner Egk,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Gré Brouwenstijn,  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Irmgard Seefried,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
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  • 37.
    The Mendelssohn Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 517453 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris,  Barbara Bonney,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Maxim Vengerov  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Raymond Leppard,  Armin Jordan,  Edward Higginbottom
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Éder String Quartet  ... 
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  • 38.
    An English Country Garden
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1219 Release Date: 01/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Souter,  James Gregory,  Ian Giles,  Jon Banks  ... 
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  • 39.
    Label: Jill And Jane   Catalog: 5637296657 Release Date: 12/23/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Otar Vasil'yevich Taktaki  ... 
    Performer:  Jane Rosenson,  Jill Felber
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  • 40.
    Twice Were Angels - The Tradition Of Boy Trebles
    Label: Griffin   Catalog: 4065 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Franz Schubert,  Henry Purcell,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Robson,  David Pickering,  Edward Higginbottom,  Christopher Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Donald Hunt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lichfield Cathedral Choir,  Leeds Parish Church Boys' Choir
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  • 41.
    Icon - Janet Baker - The Beloved Mezzo
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 08087 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Robert Spencer,  Ambrose Gauntlett,  Martin Isepp  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  André Previn,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 42.
    On The Wings Of Song / Elly Ameling, Rudolf Jansen
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 422333 Release Date: 08/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Kosaku Yamada,  Maurice Ravel,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Rudolf Jansen,  Elly Ameling,  Michel Dispa
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  • 43.
    Schubert, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann: Lieder / Schreier
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 91382 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Walter Olbertz,  Peter Schreier,  Norman Shetler
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  • 44.
    Capriccio - Mendelssohn, Schubert, Debussy, Etc / Renaud Capucon, Jerome Ducros
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 3740872 Release Date: 05/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Robert Schumann,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Jerome Ducros,  Renaud Capuçon
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  • 45.
    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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  • 46.
    Schwanengesang - Schubert, Mendelssohn / Kobow, Bezuidenhout
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 2339 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel
    Performer:  Kristian Bezuidenhout,  Jan Kobow
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  • 47.
    Mendelssohn, Loewe: Songs / Fischer-Dieskau, Sawallisch, Moore
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 91985 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Loewe,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Gerald Moore,  Wolfgang Sawallisch
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  • 48.
    Songs And Waltzes From Vienna - Lotte Lehman, Bruno Walter
    Label: Cbs Masterworks Portrait   Catalog: 47682 Release Date: 06/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Nico Dostal,  Hermann Leopoldi,  Ralph Benatzky  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Ulanowsky,  Lotte Lehmann
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Suzanne Danco Lied Edition Vol 2 - Mozart, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wolf
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10370 Release Date: 01/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugo Wolf,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Franz Holetschek,  Suzanne Danco,  Guido Agosti
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  • 50.
    L'heure Bleu - Fauré, Verdi, Et Al / Tirabosco, Chatelain
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1211 Release Date: 01/02/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fernando J. Obradors,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Michel Tirabosco,  Nathalie Chatelain
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