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: String Quartets Nos. 2 & 3 / Escher String Quartet
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1990   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Dausgaard, Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 01/08/2016   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2166   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Klemperer, Philharmonia Orchestra
Release Date: 04/15/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554931  
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Mendelssohn: Quartets Nos. 1 & 4 / Escher String Quartet
Release Date: 06/09/2015   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1960   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Complete String Symphonies / Lev Markiz, Et Al
Release Date: 11/01/1998   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 938/40   Number of Discs: 4
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Work: Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64

Browse 1-25 of 202 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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,  Niccolň 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  ... 
    On sale! $54.98
    CD: $47.99
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  • 3.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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: $11.99
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    The History of Classical Music in 24 Hours
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002403602 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Pérotin,  Guillaume de Machaut,  John Dunstable  ... 
    Performer:  Konrad Ragossnig,  Charles [Tenor Vocals] Daniels,  Susan Gritton,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Conductor:  Pater Godehard Joppich,  David Munrow,  Josef Ulsamer,  Bruno Turner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London,  Ulsamer-Collegium,  Pro Cantione Antiqua  ... 
    CD: $75.49
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  • 14.
    Brahms: Double Concerto; Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, Prokofiev: Violin Concertos
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552421 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Igor Stravinsky,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    CD: $14.99
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  • 15.
    Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552439 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 77
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Ray Still,  Samuel Sanders  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster,  Daniel Barenboim,  Itzhak Perlman,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Mendelssohn: Concerto In E Minor; Bruch: Concerto No. 1 In G Minor
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552405 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    CD: $11.99
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  • 17.
    Beethoven, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552122 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    CD: $13.99
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  • 18.
    Qing Li: Live - Violin Concertos Of Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn
    Label: Qing Li   Catalog: 5638541521 Release Date: 08/06/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Qing Li
    CD: $23.99
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  • 19.
    Mendelssohn / Abbado, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002347302 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Elizabeth Connell,  Karita Mattila,  Hans-Peter Blochwitz,  Shlomo Mintz
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $32.99
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  • 20.
    Bartok, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Hadelich
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2323 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Augustin Hadelich
    Conductor:  Miguel Harth-Bedoya
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Radio Orchestra
    On sale! $17.98
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  • 21.
    Mendelssohn, Gade: Violinkonzerte
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99075 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Niels Gade
    Performer:  Thomas Albertus Irnberger
    Conductor:  Doron Salomon
    SuperAudio CD: $21.49
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  • 22.
    Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos / Steinbacher, Dutoit
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186504 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Arabella Steinbacher
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 23.
    Camilla Wicks: Five Decades Of Treasured Performances
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1282 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Maria Theresia Paradis,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Camilla Wicks,  Robert Levin,  Horace Martinez,  Martin Katz  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Busch,  Ari Rasilainen,  William Steinberg,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    CD: $58.99
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  • 24.
    Kyung Wha Chung - Complete Decca Recordings [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002217700 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jean Sibelius,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung,  Phillip Moll,  Radu Lupu,  Myung-Wha Chung  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  André Previn,  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 25.
    Karajan - 1980s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002187902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 78
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  José Van Dam,  Barbara Hendricks,  Gösta Winbergh  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Domenico Bartolucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    CD: $245.99
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