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 in Birmingham, Vol. 4 / Pike, Gardner, City of Birmingham Symphony
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5161   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Works for Cello & Piano / Watkins, Watkins
Release Date: 11/15/2011   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10701   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Symphonies 4 & 5, Hebrides / Gardner
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5132   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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Mendelssohn: Complete Organ Sonatas / William Whitehead
Release Date: 07/28/2009   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10532   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64

Browse 26-50 of 217 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    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:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    CD: $15.99
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  • 28.
    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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    CD: $274.99
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  • 29.
    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: $9.99
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  • 30.
    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: $12.99
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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 34.
    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
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  • 35.
    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
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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 39.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $168.99
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  • 40.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 41.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10183 Release Date: 09/12/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner
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  • 42.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete DG Recordings, Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002132602 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Tibor Varga,  Helmut Krebs,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 43.
    Anne Sophie Mutter: 3 Classic Albums [limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002093402 Release Date: 07/15/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $21.99
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  • 44.
    Violin Concertos Conducted By Wilhelm Furtwangler
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9122 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Erich Röhn,  Gioconda De Vito,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Georg Kulenkampff
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    CD: $12.99
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  • 45.
    Complete Vengerov: Recordings 1991-2007 [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 631514 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Itamar Golan,  Maxim Vengerov,  Alexander Markovich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Kurt Masur,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 46.
    Mendelssohn, Adams: Violin Concertos / Jarvi, Hoopes,  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5368 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  John Adams
    Performer:  Chad Hoopes
    Conductor:  Kristjan Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Middle German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 47.
    The Art Of Zino Francescatti
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9112 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Paul Ben-Haim  ... 
    Performer:  Zino Francescatti,  Eugenio Bagnoli,  Pierre Fournier
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Dimitri Mitropoulos,  Fernando Previtali
    CD: $19.99
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  • 48.
    Carlo Maria Giulini - Anniversary Edition
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 14006 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Claude Debussy,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Anna Maria Canali,  Luigi Alva,  Nicola Rossi-Lemeni  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    CD: $98.99
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  • 49.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection, Vol. 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 50.
    Beethoven, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Mullova, Gardiner [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002009846 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Viktoria Mullova
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
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