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: Sacred Works / Rilling
Release Date: 05/04/2018   Label: Hänssler Classic  
Catalog: 17082   Number of Discs: 6
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In Between - Schumann & Mendelssohn / Pacini
Release Date: 05/11/2018   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 570777   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Complete Works For Violin And Piano / Nomos Duo
Release Date: 08/21/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554725   Number of Discs: 1
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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: Symphonies 3 & 5 / Litton, Bergen Philharmonic
Release Date: 01/26/2010   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1604   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64

Browse 201-213 of 213 Available Recordings
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  • 201.
    Bruno Walter Edition - Beethoven, Mendelssohn: Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64459 Release Date: 01/24/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Joseph Szigeti
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 202.
    Schumann, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Szeryng, Dorati
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 434339 Release Date: 06/14/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Béla Bartók,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Charles Reiner
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 203.
    The Best Of Mendelssohn
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 442302 Release Date: 05/10/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Werner Haas,  Salvatore Accardo
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Charles Dutoit,  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 204.
    Mendelssohn, Spohr: Violin Concertos / Adorján, Shallon
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 46831 Release Date: 04/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis Spohr,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  András Adorján
    Conductor:  David Shallon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 205.
    Favorite Violin Concertos / Arthur Grumiaux
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 442287 Release Date: 04/12/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Sir Colin Davis,  Jan Krenz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 206.
    Mendelssohn, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Vengerov, Masur
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 90875 Release Date: 02/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Maxim Vengerov
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 207.
    The Art Of Ivry Gitlis
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 5505 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Béla Bartók,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch  ... 
    Performer:  Ivry Gitlis
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Hans Swarowsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 208.
    Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Nishizaki, Jean
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550153 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki
    Conductor:  Kenneth Jean
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 209.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerti / Mullova, Marriner, Asmf
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 432077 Release Date: 03/08/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Viktoria Mullova
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 210.
    Great Violin Concertos / Mutter, Karajan, Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 415565 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $43.99
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  • 211.
    Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos / Stern, Ormandy
    Label: Cbs Great Performances   Catalog: 36724 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 212.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto; Saint-Saens, Massenet / Salerno-Sonnenberg
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 49276 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Chamber Symphony
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  • 213.
    Mendelssohn, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Shaham, Sinopoli
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 427656 Release Date: 03/30/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Gil Shaham
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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