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: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Klemperer, Baker, Harper, Philharmonia Orchestra
Release Date: 04/15/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554931  
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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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Work: Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64

Browse 1-25 of 214 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Charles Munch: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 516979 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 86
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Vincent D'Indy  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Artur Rubinstein,  Margaret Roggero,  Leslie Chabey  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Harvard Glee Club  ... 
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    On sale! $221.98
    CD: $149.99
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  • 2.
    It's Me: The Baroque & Romantic Albums / Hope
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002565102 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Andrea Falconieri,  George Frideric Handel,  Diego Ortiz,  Biagio Marini  ... 
    Performer:  Stephan Rath,  Kristian Bezuidenhout,  Lorenza Borrani,  Daniel Hope  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Hengelbrock,  Sakari Oramo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $25.49
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  • 3.
    Mendelssohn & Schumann: Violin Concertos & Phantasy / Graffin, Rousi, Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto
    Label: Cobra Records   Catalog: 0043 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Philippe Graffin
    Conductor:  Tuomas Rousi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto
    CD: $17.99
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  • 4.
    Mendelssohn & Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos / Milstein, Abbado, Vienna Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002559901 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $24.99
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  • 5.
    Europakonzert 2016 / Frang, Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26148 Release Date: 09/30/2016  
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Edvard Grieg,  Bjarne Brustad
    Performer:  Vilde Frang
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Europakonzert 2016 / Frang, Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic [Blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26148 Release Date: 09/30/2016  
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Edvard Grieg,  Bjarne Brustad
    Performer:  Vilde Frang
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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    On sale! $28.99
    Blu-ray Video: $25.99
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  • 7.
    Tchaikovsky & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Ferras, Silvestri, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 557401 Release Date: 09/16/2016  
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Christian Ferras
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 8.
    Mendelssohn & Schumann: Violin Concertos / Widmann, Chamber Orchestra of Europe
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 002552402 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Carolin Widmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
    CD: $22.99
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  • 9.
    Jascha Heifetz: The Complete Stereo Collection (Remastered)
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 309534 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    On sale! $99.98
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  • 10.
    Pinchas Zukerman: Complete Recordings on DG, Decca, & Philips
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002514302 Release Date: 07/22/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Midori,  Daniel Barenboim,  Marc Neikrug  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Charles Dutoit,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $74.98
    CD: $69.99
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  • 11.
    Anne Akiko Meyers: The Complete RCA Recordings
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88875165752 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Akiko Meyers,  Li Jian,  Rohan De Silva,  Andre-Michel Schub  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton,  Dmitrij Kitajenko,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky & Bruch: Violin Concertos / Milstein
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 153 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Leon Barzin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 13.
    The Art of Midori
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 518340 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Midori,  Robert McDonald,  Nobuko Imai,  Christoph Eschenbach
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Claudio Abbado,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    The Menuhin Century: Luxury Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555050 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 91
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $239.98
    CD: $199.99
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  • 15.
    The Menuhin Century: The Historic Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555052 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonín Dvorák,  Niccolò Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Gerald Moore,  George Enescu,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Enescu,  Pierre Monteux,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire  ... 
    CD: $58.49
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  • 16.
    The Originals: 8 Legendary Albums
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002469802 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff,  Martha Argerich,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber,  Claudio Abbado,  Rafael Kubelik,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $27.49
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  • 17.
    Beethoven & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 20345 Release Date: 02/26/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Nikolaj Znaider
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 18.
    Beethoven & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos [Blu-ray]
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 10345 Release Date: 02/26/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Nikolaj Znaider
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 19.
    Mendelssohn in Birmingham, Vol. 4 / Pike, Gardner, City of Birmingham Symphony
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5161 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Jennifer Pike
    Conductor:  Edward Gardner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 20.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 21.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto; Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 / Previn, Perlman
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553141 Release Date: 11/20/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  André Previn
    CD: $9.99
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  • 22.
    Bruch & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Mintz, Abbado, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186208 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Shlomo Mintz
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 23.
    Hilary Hahn: The Complete Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875126182 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Leonard Bernstein,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Hugh Wolff,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $22.99
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  • 24.
    Mendelssohn, Beethoven: Violin Concertos
    Label: Royal Philharmonic   Catalog: 49 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Robert Davidovici
    Conductor:  Grzegorz Nowak
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    Steven Staryk: A Retrospective, Vol. 7
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3366 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Sir William Walton,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Steven Staryk
    Conductor:  Pierre Hétu,  Mario Bernardi,  George Corwin
    CD: $17.99
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