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: Symphonies 4 & 5, Hebrides / Gardner
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5132   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night's Dream, Piano Concertos / Chailly
Release Date: 06/17/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002082502   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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Mendelssohn: 5 Symphonies, 7 Overtures / Abbado, London So
Release Date: 05/14/2002   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 471467   Number of Discs: 4
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Mendelssohn: Double Concerto, Octet / Tognetti, Leschenko, Australian Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 03/26/2013   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1984   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64

Browse 201-225 of 246 Available Recordings
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  • 201.
    Classics Exposed - Romantic Violin Concertos
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17029 Release Date: 02/23/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow,  Raphaël Oleg,  Boris Belkin
    Conductor:  Bryden Thomson,  Antoni Ros Marbŕ,  Libor Pesek,  Jun'ichi Hirokami
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Netherlands Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 202.
    Mendelssohn, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Mcduffie, Swensen
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80507 Release Date: 01/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Robert McDuffie
    Conductor:  Joseph Swensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 203.
    Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Milstein
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 460619 Release Date: 01/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 204.
    Mendelssohn: Complete Solo Concertos / Markiz, Van Keulen
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 966/968 Release Date: 01/25/1999   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Ronald Brautigam,  Isabelle van Keulen,  Roland Pöntinen,  Love Derwinger
    Conductor:  Lev Markiz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Nieuw Sinfonietta
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  • 205.
    Brahms, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Schneiderhan, Et Al
    Label: Tuxedo Music   Catalog: 1005 Release Date: 11/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Walter Schneiderhan
    Conductor:  Edouard Van Remoortel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 206.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos, Etc / Van Keulen, Markiz
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 935 Release Date: 11/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Isabelle van Keulen
    Conductor:  Lev Markiz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
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  • 207.
    Mendelssohn: Two Violin Concertos / Dubeau, Rescigno, Et Al
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 23098 Release Date: 07/21/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Angčle Dubeau
    Conductor:  Joseph Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Orchestra
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  • 208.
    Beethoven, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Heifetz, Munch
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 68980 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 209.
    Sibelius, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Chang, Jansons
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56418 Release Date: 02/24/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Sarah Chang
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 210.
    Take 2 - Mendelssohn: Symphony No 4, Etc / Ormandy, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 63251 Release Date: 11/18/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Zino Francescatti
    Conductor:  Louis Lane,  George Szell,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra members,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 211.
    Mendelssohn, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Perlman, Previn, Lso
    Label: Emi Classics Red Line   Catalog: 69863 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 212.
    Anne Akiko Meyers - Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, Etc.
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61700 Release Date: 08/30/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  Anne Akiko Meyers
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 213.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto/Bruch: Violin Concerto
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4613692 Release Date: 06/30/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci
    Conductor:  Pierino Gamba
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 214.
    Brahms: Double Concerto;  Mendelssohn / Perlman, Ma, Et Al
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 15870 Release Date: 05/27/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 215.
    Mendelssohn: Complete Symphonies Vol 2, Violin Concerto / Haitink, Grumiaux
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 456074 Release Date: 03/11/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Rae Woodland,  Helen Watts,  Arthur Grumiaux
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 216.
    Mendelssohn, Brahms: Violin Concerti / Sitkovetsky, Marriner
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98934 Release Date: 06/18/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Dmitri Sitkovetsky
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 217.
    Kagan Edition Vol 15 - Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms
    Label: Live Classics   Catalog: 175 Release Date: 05/21/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Oleg Kagan
    Conductor:  Arnold Katz,  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Novosibirsk Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 218.
    Nathan Milstein - The 1946 Library Of Congress Recital
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9064 Release Date: 02/20/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Wieniawski,  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Nathan Milstein  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Josef Blatt
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  • 219.
    The Great Violin Concertos - Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky /Rybar
    Label: Doron Music   Catalog: 4005 Release Date: 08/22/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Peter Rybar
    Conductor:  Victor Desarzens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Festival Orchestra
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  • 220.
    Isaac Stern - A Life In Music - Box I
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 67193 Release Date: 05/16/1995   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Rose,  David Oistrakh,  Eugene Istomin  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Zubin Mehta,  Daniel Barenboim,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra members,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 221.
    Isaac Stern - A Life In Music - Mendelssohn, Dvorak
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66827 Release Date: 05/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 222.
    Heifetz - Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn: Concertos /Reiner, Munch
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61743 Release Date: 05/09/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 223.
    Mendelssohn, Brahms: Violin Concertos / Mutter, Karajan
    Label: Dg Masters   Catalog: 445515 Release Date: 03/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 224.
    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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  • 225.
    Mendelssohn, Vieuxtemps: Violin Concertos / Chee-yun
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 78913 Release Date: 10/18/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Vieuxtemps,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Chee-Yun
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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