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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: Lieder Ohne Worte / Javier Perianes
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902195   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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The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 17 - Mendelssohn / Hough
Release Date: 08/12/1997   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 66969   Number of Discs: 1
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The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 3 - Mendelssohn
Release Date: 03/04/1993   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 66567   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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Work: Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64

Browse 1-25 of 234 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
    CD: $139.99
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  • 3.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    On sale! $159.98
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  • 4.
    Joshua Bell: 3 Classic Albums
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002131702 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  Samuel Sanders
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon, Vol. 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002132602 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Tibor Varga,  Helmut Krebs,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $195.99
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  • 6.
    Anne Sophie Mutter: 3 Classic Albums [limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002093402 Release Date: 07/15/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Complete Vengerov: Recordings 1991-2007 [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 631514 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Itamar Golan,  Maxim Vengerov,  Alexander Markovich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Kurt Masur,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 8.
    Mendelssohn, Adams: Violin Concertos / Jarvi, Hoopes,  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5368 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  John Adams
    Performer:  Chad Hoopes
    Conductor:  Kristjan Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Middle German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 9.
    The Art Of Zino Francescatti
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9112 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Paul Ben-Haim  ... 
    Performer:  Zino Francescatti,  Eugenio Bagnoli,  Pierre Fournier
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Dimitri Mitropoulos,  Fernando Previtali
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  • 10.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 11.
    Beethoven, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Mullova, Gardiner [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002009846 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Viktoria Mullova
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
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  • 12.
    Jascha Heifetz Plays Great Violin Concertos
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7761382 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Osian Ellis,  William Primrose,  Thornton Lofthouse  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Walter Hendl,  Sir Malcolm Sargent  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Johanna Martzy Plays Mendelssohn & Brahms
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94226 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Johanna Martzy
    Conductor:  Hans Müller-Kray,  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3, Violin Concerto / Swensen, Scottish Co
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 216 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Joseph Swensen
    Conductor:  Joseph Swensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 15.
    The Art Of Arthur Grumiaux
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9116 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux,  Riccardo Castagnone,  Hans Altmann,  Hermann von Beckerath
    Conductor:  Frieder Weissmann,  Lorin Maazel,  Hans Müller-Kray,  Bernhard Paumgartner  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 16.
    Icon: The Early Years - Yehudi Menuhin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 928129 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Marius Casadesus,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  George Enescu,  Hephzibah Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen  ... 
    Conductor:  George Enescu,  Pierre Monteux,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    On sale! $56.98
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  • 17.
    Itzhak Perlman - 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 939025 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Manuel de Falla,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Samuel Sanders
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Lawrence Foster,  André Previn,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 18.
    The Hubermann Week Festival, 30th Anniversary
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 29667 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Shlomo Mintz,  Isaac Stern,  Daniel Benyamini,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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  • 19.
    Teldec - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 643851 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Josef Protschka,  Barbara Bonney,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Rizzi,  Reinbert De Leeuw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 20.
    The Complete Recordings of Johanna Martzy on EMI & Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 81400 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Johanna Martzy,  Jean Antonietti
    Conductor:  Paul Kletzki,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $132.49
    CD: $129.49
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  • 21.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 22.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto; Concerto for Violin, Piano & Strings / Waley-Cohen
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 342 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Tamsin Waley Cohen,  Huw Watkins
    Conductor:  David Curtis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Swan
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  • 23.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos; Romances / Rachel Barton Pine
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 144 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rachel Barton Pine
    Conductor:  Christoph-mathias Mueller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gottinger Symphonie Orchester
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  • 24.
    Sarah Chang: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 844172 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Prokofiev,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Chang,  Lars Vogt,  Wolfram Christ,  Georg Faust  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Sir Colin Davis,  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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