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 2 /  Gardner, City Of Birmingham Symphony
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5139   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Symphonies 1 & 3 / De Vriend, Netherlands Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Challenge  
Catalog: 72641   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schumann: Clarinet Sonatas / Emma Johnson
Release Date: 09/11/2012   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 6153   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: The Piano Trios / Vienna Piano Trio
Release Date: 04/21/1998   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5553   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Complete String Symphonies Vol 2 / Boughton
Release Date: 12/02/1992   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5142   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64

Browse 26-50 of 243 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos; Sarasate / Gerhard Taschner
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 6421797 Release Date: 04/23/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Pablo de Sarasate
    Performer:  Gerhard Taschner,  Michael Raucheisen
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Fritz Lehmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 27.
    The Art Of The Violin
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 7010 Release Date: 03/28/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Edouard Lalo,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux,  Clara Haskil
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Eduard Van Beinum,  Jean Fournet,  Bernhard Paumgartner  ... 
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  • 28.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos, Violin Sonata In F Minor / Tianwa Yang
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 32 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Tianwa Yang,  Romain Descharmes
    Conductor:  Patrick Gallois
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Finlandia
    Blu-ray Audio: $19.99
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  • 29.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
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  • 30.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto; Bruch: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 332922 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
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  • 31.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Tianwa Yang
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572662 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Tianwa Yang,  Romain Descharmes
    Conductor:  Patrick Gallois
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Finlandia
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  • 32.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto; Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3; Beethoven: Two Romances
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1483 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Johanna Martzy
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Paul Kletzki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Bruch, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Laredo, Scottish Co
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1152 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Jaime Laredo
    Conductor:  Jaime Laredo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Mendelssohn, Paganini: Violin Concertos / Ughi, Pretre LSO
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 62788 Release Date: 01/18/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Niccolò Paganini
    Performer:  Uto Ughi
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre,  Uto Ughi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Chamber Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Mendelssohn: Complete Symphonies, String Symphonies, Concertos / Markiz, Litton, Amsterdam Sinfonietta , Bergen Philharmonic
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2002 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Jennifer Larmore,  Judith Howarth,  Christoph Prégardien,  Isabelle van Keulen  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton,  Lev Markiz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amsterdam Sinfonietta
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  • 36.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Ibragimova, Jurowski, Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67795 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Alina Ibragimova
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
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  • 37.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto; Symphony No. 4 'italian'
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001706902 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Charles Dutoit
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  • 38.
    The Art Of Giuseppe Sinopoli - Concerto Recordings
    Label: Imports   Catalog: 2029964 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Gil Shaham,  Mischa Maisky,  Maurizio Pollini  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 39.
    Best Of Mendelssohn
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300341 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Staatskapelle Berlin,  Günther Herbig,  Kurt Masur,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
    Conductor:  Günther Herbig,  Kurt Masur,  Gothart Stier,  Helmut Koch  ... 
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  • 40.
    Charles Munch Conducts Romantic Masterworks
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 826732 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Gary Graffman,  Artur Rubinstein,  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    San Francisco Symphony At 100
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 52 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 42.
    San Francisco Symphony At 100 [blu-ray]
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 57 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10132 Release Date: 05/25/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jascha Heifetz,  Rudolf Serkin,  Rita Streich  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alfred Scholz,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
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  • 44.
    Bruch, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos; Beethoven: Romances / Philippe Quint [bonus Dvd]
    Label: Avanti Classic   Catalog: 1036 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Philippe Quint
    Conductor:  Carlos Miguel Prieto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mineria Symphony Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Great Violin Concertos
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501058 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Louis Spohr  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  Simone Lamsma,  Ilya Kaler,  Misha Keylin  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Oliver Dohnányi,  Patrick Gallois,  Kenneth Jean  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Sinfonia Finlandia,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 46.
    Bruch, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Yehudi Menuhin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 6783322 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  Efrem Kurtz,  Walter Susskind
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  • 47.
    Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto / Kennedy, Tate, English Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6027495 Release Date: 03/13/2012  
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Nigel Kennedy
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Tate
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Hilary Hahn Spectacular
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 795069 Release Date: 02/21/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski,  Hugh Wolff,  David Zinman,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 49.
    Dedicated to the International Tchaikovsky Competition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001860 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn,  Valery Klimov,  A. Amentaeva,  Natalia Shakhovskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Maxim Shostakovich,  Mark Ermler,  B. Haikin,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  State Academic Bolshoi Theatre Sextet
    CD: $74.49
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  • 50.
    Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Ray Chen
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 798410 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Ray Chen
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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