Felix Mendelssohn


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, Bruch: Octets / Kodály Quartet, Auer Quartet
Release Date: 04/18/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557270   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Piano Works / Lydia Artymiw
Release Date: 07/06/2009   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 8326   Number of Discs: 1
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Grieg, Field, Mendelssohn / Daria Gloukhova
Release Date: 11/22/2011   Label: Centaur Records  
Catalog: 3145   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Bruch, Mendelssohn, Massenet: Violin Concertos / Klecker, Augustyn, Janacek Philharmonic
Release Date: 09/01/2017   Label: Centaur Records  
Catalog: 3585   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Hark! The herald angels sing

Browse 1-25 of 216 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Christmas Flutes / Jones-Reus, University of Georgia Flutes
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 52700 Release Date: 01/05/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Lowell Mason,  William James Kirkpatrick,  James Pierpont  ... 
    Conductor:  Angela Jones-Reus
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Georgia Flutes
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  • 2.
    Christmas with Canterbury Cathedral Girls Choir
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002777002 Release Date: 12/15/2017  
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Adolphe Adam,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Conductor:  David Newsholme
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canterbury Cathedral Girls' Choir
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  • 3.
    Hoert! Die Engelsboten singen / Bavarian Radio Chorus
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900506 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Albert Becker,  Heinrich Kaminski,  John Francis Wade  ... 
    Performer:  François Leleux,  Anonymous
    Conductor:  Florian Helgath
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Choir
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  • 4.
    O Holy Night: A Merton Christmas
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34192 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Rutter,  Elisabeth Poston,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Sir David Willcocks,  Alexander Little,  Peter Shepherd,  Oliver Kelham  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Nicholas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra,  Oxford Merton College Choir
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  • 5.
    Choral Music for Christmas
    Label: Carus   Catalog: 83486 Release Date: 10/06/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann David Heinichen,  Jan Dismas Zelenka,  George Frideric Handel,  Heinrich Kaminski  ... 
    Performer:  Britta Schwarz,  Christine Wolff,  Hans Jörg Mammel,  Romano Giefer  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Kopp,  Frieder Bernius,  Michael Alber,  Klaus Martin Bresgott  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Vocal Concert,  Dresden Instrumental Concert,  L'Arpa Festante  ... 
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  • 6.
    The Complete Argo Recordings / The Choir of St. John's College Cambridge, Guest
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831252 Release Date: 06/23/2017   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Otto Goldschmidt,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Alastair Roberts,  Peter White,  George Guest,  Richard Lewis  ... 
    Conductor:  George Guest
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  London Brass  ... 
    CD: $127.99
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  • 7.
    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
    CD: $11.99
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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 10.
    Adeste Fideles: Christmas Carols from Her Majesty's Chapel Royal
    Label: Signum Classics   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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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    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
    CD: $14.99
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  • 13.
    Carols from King's - 60th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Choir King's College (Dvd)   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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: A Carol Symphony - Music For The Festive Season
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5233 Release Date: 10/15/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Traditional,  Henry John Gauntlett  ... 
    Conductor:  Frank Chacksfield,  Billy Vaughn,  George Melachrino,  Dalibor Brazda  ... 
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  • 17.
    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
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 18.
    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
    CD: $13.99
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  • 19.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    Christmas Carols: From Village Green to Church Choir / Gant, Vox Turturis
    Label: Signum Classics   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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    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  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 23.
    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  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 24.
    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
    CD: $14.99
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  • 25.
    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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