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: 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: String Quartets / Vogler Quartet
Release Date: 08/16/2005   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 4091   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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Liszt, Mendelssohn, Clementi: Music For Piano & Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 01/26/2010   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 9028   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64

Browse 226-243 of 243 Available Recordings
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  • 226.
    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
    CD: $22.49
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  • 227.
    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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  • 228.
    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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  • 229.
    Great Romantic Concertos / Itzhak Perlman
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64922 Release Date: 12/07/1993   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Niccolň Paganini,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Bernard Haitink,  Lawrence Foster,  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 230.
    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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  • 231.
    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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  • 232.
    The Great Violin Concertos / Yehudi Menuhin
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67310 Release Date: 07/05/1991   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Christian Ferras
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Efrem Kurtz,  Walter Susskind,  Rudolf Kempe  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bath Festival Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 233.
    Isaac Stern Collection - The Early Concerto Recordings Vol 1
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 45952 Release Date: 07/01/1991   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Rose,  Isaac Stern,  Alexander Zakin,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter,  Eugene Ormandy,  Alexander Hilsberg,  Sir Thomas Beecham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 234.
    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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  • 235.
    Bruch, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Bell, Marriner
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421145 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Joshua Bell
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    CD not available
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  • 236.
    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
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  • 237.
    Mendelssohn, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Itzhak Perlman, Bernard Haitink, Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47074 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 238.
    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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  • 239.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto;  Beethoven / Stern, Ozawa
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 37204 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 240.
    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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  • 241.
    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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  • 242.
    Mendelssohn, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Mutter, Karajan
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 921092 Release Date: 03/01/1983   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 243.
    Mendelssohn, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Honda, Clark
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550111 Release Date: 04/10/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Mariko Honda
    Conductor:  Keith Clark
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
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