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: Violin Concertos / Bisengaliev, Frith, Et Al
Release Date: 10/27/1998   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553844   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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Easy Listening Piano Classics - Mendelssohn And Field
Release Date: 02/23/2010   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8578079-80   Number of Discs: 2
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Mendelssohn: Die erste Walpurigsnacht / Boyd, Musikkollegium Winterthur
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)  
Catalog: 9011949   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: String Symphonies Vol 1 / Ward, Northern Co
Release Date: 01/23/1996   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553161   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Hark! The herald angels sing

Browse 1-25 of 234 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Christmas at Norwich / Grote, Dunnett, Choir of Norwich Cathedral
    Label: Priory Records   Catalog: PRCD1148 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry John Gauntlett,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Traditional,  Henry Walford Davies  ... 
    Performer:  David Dunnett,  Ashley Grote
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwich Cathedral Choir
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  • 2.
    A Nativity Sequence / Wilkins, St. Salvator's Chapel Choir
    Label: Odradek   Catalog: 0004 Release Date: 10/28/2016  
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Traditional,  Michael Praetorius,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Tom Wilkinson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Salvator's Chapel Choir
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  • 3.
    Ultimate Christmas Collection / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 535958 Release Date: 10/21/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Mason,  Mykola Leontovych,  Traditional,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Alexander Schreiner,  Frank Asper,  Marilyn Horne  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard P. Condie,  Jerold D. Ottley,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerold Ottley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Brass & Percussion Ensemble,  Columbia Brass Ensemble
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  • 4.
    Christmas 101
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002507302 Release Date: 09/23/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Traditional,  John Francis Wade,  William James Kirkpatrick  ... 
    Performer:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Simon Preston,  Harvey Alan,  David Corkhill  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  John Rutter,  Sir Neville Marriner,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Christmas on Stage & Screen / U.S. Air Force Band & Singing Sergeants
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 77047 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Jerry Herman,  Jule Styne,  Ralph Blane  ... 
    Conductor:  Lowell Graham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band,  United States Air Force Singing Sergeants
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  • 6.
    Adeste Fideles: Christmas Carols from Her Majesty's Chapel Royal
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 460 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Elisabeth Poston,  Henry John Gauntlett,  John Tavener  ... 
    Conductor:  Huw Tregelles Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapel Royal Choir
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  • 7.
    Carols with St Paul's Cathedral Choir / Carwood
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002405602 Release Date: 11/20/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Henry John Gauntlett,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Graham J. Ellis  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Johnson
    Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
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  • 8.
    Merry Christmas / Amira Willighagen
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 513798 Release Date: 11/20/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Vladimir Vavilov  ... 
    Performer:  Sylvia Houtzager,  Mariette Laport,  Kris Barczewski,  Hans Rijkmans  ... 
    Conductor:  Ton Van Nierop
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  • 9.
    Carols from King's - 60th Anniversary Edition
    Label: King's College Choir   Catalog: 13 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry John Gauntlett,  George Ratcliffe Woodward,  Otto Goldschmidt,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
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  • 10.
    My Christmas / Placido Domingo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 511743 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Blane,  Harpo Marx,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Idina Menzel,  Jackie Evancho
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Piano Guys
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  • 11.
    The Greatest Christmas Choral Classics
    Label: Silva Classics   Catalog: 6049 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  Mykola Leontovych,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Lowell Mason  ... 
    Performer:  Crouch End Festival Chorus,  The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Evan Jolly
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  • 12.
    Jul Med Adventsangerne
    Label: Bergen Digital Studio   Catalog: 7039 Release Date: 10/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Max Reger,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Adventsangerne,  Njal Sparbo,  Bodil [Soprano Vocal] Arnesen,  Harald Gullichsen
    Conductor:  Sverre Valen
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  • 13.
    Label: Real Gone Music   Catalog: 6400396 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Bernard,  John Francis Wade,  Thomas ("Tommie") P. Conn,  Harry Parr-Davies  ... 
    Performer:  George Melachrino Orchestra
    Conductor:  George Melachrino
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  • 14.
    The Complete Traditional Christmas Carols Collection
    Label: Coro   Catalog: 16136 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  Henry John Gauntlett,  Henry Walford Davies,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
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  • 15.
    Christmas Carols: From Village Green to Church Choir / Gant, Vox Turturis
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 387 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Thomas Helmore,  Henry Walford Davies,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Tom [Tenor Vocal] Phillips,  Basil McDonald,  David Quinn,  Nicholas Keay  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Gant
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vox Turturis
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  • 16.
    Carols From Queen's
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2345 Release Date: 09/04/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Tavener,  Traditional,  Herbert Howells,  Philip Stopford  ... 
    Performer:  Bernadette [Soprano Vocal] Johns,  Harry Meehan,  Robert [Baritone Vocal] Holbrook,  Caroline [Soprano Vocal] Halls  ... 
    Conductor:  Owen Rees
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  • 17.
    111 Classics for Christmas
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002179902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson,  Leopold Mozart,  Johnny Marks,  John Frederic Coots  ... 
    Performer:  Helen Donath,  Anna Reynolds,  Christa Ludwig,  Maria Teresa Garatti  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Karl Richter,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
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  • 18.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Christmas Lights
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5222 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Mason,  Irving Berlin,  Traditional,  Vogel  ... 
    Performer:  Zack Laurence
    Conductor:  Percy Faith,  Frank Chacksfield,  Billy Vaughn,  Ken Jones  ... 
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  • 19.
    The Great British Carol Collection / Choir Of Trinity College Cambridge
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 503770 Release Date: 11/24/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Marlow,  Traditional,  Patrick Hadley,  John Francis Wade  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Pearce,  Graham Jackson,  Richard Marlow,  Simon Standage  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Marlow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Trinity College Choir
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  • 20.
    Favourite Carols From King's / King's College Choir
    Label: King's College Choir   Catalog: 7 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry John Gauntlett,  Harold Edwin Darke,  John Francis Wade,  Traditional  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
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  • 21.
    The Christmas Album / Herbert Von Karajan
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002179802 Release Date: 11/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Traditional,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Performer:  Leontyne Price
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra members,  Vienna Children's Chorus  ... 
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  • 22.
    Les Plus Belles Pages De La Musique De Noel
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578291-92 Release Date: 11/04/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Traditional,  James Pierpont,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
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  • 23.
    Carols From King's College, Cambridge
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 628790 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry John Gauntlett,  Traditional,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Ian Hare,  John [classical organ] Wells,  Stephen Varcoe,  Benjamin Bayl  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Philip Ledger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
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  • 24.
    Christmas Carols / Knabenchor Hannover, London Brass
    Label: Rondeau Productions   Catalog: 7017 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Anonymous,  Thomas Weelkes,  Herbert Howells  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Brass,  Hannover Boys' Choir
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  • 25.
    From Parlour To Palace: Victorian Music From The Christmas Revels
    Label: Revels Records   Catalog: 2014 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Emlen,  Traditional,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Frederick Shrival  ... 
    Performer:  David Coffin,  Megan Henderson,  Billy Meleady,  Sarah deLima  ... 
    Conductor:  George Emlen
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