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 No 3 & 4 / Sanderling, RPO
Release Date: 09/14/2010   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28340   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words / Ronan O'Hora
Release Date: 05/10/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 29060   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, Midsummer Night's Dream / Chen, Glover
Release Date: 03/10/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28230   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn, The Nazis and Me - A film by Sheila Hayman
Release Date: 01/26/2010   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4511   Number of Discs: 1
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Mussorgsky: Pictures; Mendelssohn: Symphony No 4 / Masur, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Release Date: 01/25/2011   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4562   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: On the Wings of Song (Auf Flügeln des Gesanges)

Browse 51-75 of 112 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Verboten Und Verbannt - Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer, Berg, Etc / Hampson, Rieger
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 708061 Release Date: 11/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Alexander von Zemlinsky,  Eric Zeisl  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Wolfram Rieger
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  • 52.
    Dompierre: La Ronde Des Berceuses;  Brahms, Et Al / Dubeau
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 28711 Release Date: 11/22/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Stephen Foster,  François Dompierre,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Angčle Dubeau
    Conductor:  Raymond Dessaints
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amati Ensemble
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  • 53.
    On Wings Of Song / Dubeau, Ensemble Amati
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 28715 Release Date: 11/22/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Stephen Foster,  François Dompierre,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Angčle Dubeau
    Conductor:  Raymond Dessaints
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amati Ensemble
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  • 54.
    Ultimate Piano Classics - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000766402 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Rhondda Gillespie,  Julius Katchen,  András Schiff  ... 
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  • 55.
    Barbara Hendricks - Recital
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4096 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gustav Mahler,  Hugo Wolf,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  András Schiff
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  • 56.
    Night Owl
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1151 Release Date: 08/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Hugh S. Roberton,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Hill,  Martin Souter,  Jon Banks,  James Gregory  ... 
    Conductor:  Bystrik Rezucha,  Sarah Tenant-Flowers,  Yun-Sung Chang,  Matthias Kuntsch
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  • 57.
    On Wings Of Song & Zarzuela Arias / Victoria De Los Angeles
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56535 Release Date: 08/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruperto Chapi,  Francisco Barbieri,  Manuel F. Caballero,  Vicente Lleó  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spanish National Orchestra Professors,  Sinfonia of London,  Coro de Cámara del Real
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  • 58.
    Songs You Love / Elizabeth Schwarzkopf
    Label: Emi Great Artists Of The Century   Catalog: 56529 Release Date: 08/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Hugo Wolf,  Richard Strauss,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Moore,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
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  • 59.
    Thomas Quasthoff - The Voice
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000657702 Release Date: 07/04/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Carl Loewe,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Quasthoff,  Justus Zeyen,  Rainer Kussmaul,  Albrecht Mayer
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann,  Rainer Kussmaul,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Baroque Soloists,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 60.
    Gemini - Sweet Power Of Song / Lott
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 50833 Release Date: 05/02/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Benjamin Britten,  Roger Quilter,  Arthur Sullivan  ... 
    Performer:  Graham Johnson,  Ann Murray,  Felicity Lott,  Jonathan Williams  ... 
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  • 61.
    Perfect Winter Wedding
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557977 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Torelli,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georg Christoph Wagenseil,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
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  • 62.
    Lotte Lehman Sings Lieder & Orchestral Songs 1941-1950
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1247 Release Date: 12/27/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Bernhard Flies,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Ulanowsky,  Lotte Lehmann,  Bruno Walter
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Mendelssohn: Cello Sonatas / Anthony Leroy, Sandra Moubarak
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 40102 Release Date: 12/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Sandra Moubarak,  Anthony Leroy
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  • 64.
    Peter Schreier - Legendary Recordings
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 2852 Release Date: 12/27/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Heinrich Schütz,  Peter Cornelius,  Rudolf Mauersberger  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Otto,  Peter Schreier,  Anton Spieler,  Karl-Dietfried Adam  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Mauersberger,  Otmar Suitner,  Bernhard Klee,  Siegfried Kurz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra members,  Dresden Kreuz Choir,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
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  • 65.
    Songs Of Inspiration / Te Kanawa, Rudel, Mormon Tabernacle
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4762456 Release Date: 02/21/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
    Conductor:  Julius Rudel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Utah Symphony Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Mendelssohn, Schubert, Strauss / Edita Gruberova
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 635041 Release Date: 01/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Richard Strauss,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Edita Gruberova,  Erik Werba,  Peter Schmidl
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  • 67.
    Expanded Edition - Humoresque / Isaac Stern
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 92741 Release Date: 08/03/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Alexander Borodin,  Antonín Dvorák,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Milton Katims,  Frank Brieff,  János Rolla
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Franz Liszt Academy Chamber Orchestra
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  • 68.
    The Essential Wedding Collection
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000233302 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Andrew Wright,  Francis Lai,  Bryan Adams,  Giorgio Moroder  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Peter Hurford,  Richard Farnes,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Conductor:  Nick Ingman,  Michael Kamen,  Julius Rudel,  Wyn Morris  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 69.
    Thomas Quasthoff - A Romantic Songbook
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000219202 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Hugo Wolf  ... 
    Performer:  Justus Zeyen,  Thomas Quasthoff
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  • 70.
    Mendelssohn: On Wings Of Song, Etc / Price, Johnson
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55150 Release Date: 04/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Graham Johnson
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  • 71.
    The Complete Hornist / Thomas Bacon
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 379 Release Date: 04/06/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dennis Leclaire,  Anthony Plog,  Robert Schumann,  Emil Kronke  ... 
    Performer:  Phillip Moll,  Thomas Bacon
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  • 72.
    Hugo Wolf Centenary / Naval, Steiner, Culp, Janssen, Et Al
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1205 Release Date: 03/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Hugo Wolf,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Ilona Durigo,  Herbert Janssen,  Gerald Moore,  Coenraad Bos  ... 
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  • 73.
    Geraldine Farrar - Berlin G&Ts 1904-1906, etc
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52040 Release Date: 11/01/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Franz,  Henry Trotčre,  James L. Molloy  ... 
    Performer:  Geraldine Farrar,  Claude Gonvierre,  Karl Jörn,  Wilhelm Grüning
    Conductor:  Walter Damrosch
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  • 74.
    The Very Best Of Victoria De Los Angeles
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75888 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Manuel de Falla,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Carlo Del Monte,  Alicia De Larrocha,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Vittorio Gui,  Giuseppe Morelli,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 75.
    On Wings Of Song - Victoria De Los Angeles
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 69502 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruperto Chapi,  Johann Paul A. Martini,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Pablo Luna y Carné  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia of London,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  City of London Sinfonia
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