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: Lieder Ohne Worte / Javier Perianes
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902195   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Ibragimova, Jurowski, Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
Release Date: 10/09/2012   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 67795   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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The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 3 - Mendelssohn
Release Date: 03/04/1993   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 66567   Number of Discs: 1
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The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 17 - Mendelssohn / Hough
Release Date: 08/12/1997   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 66969   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Songs without words: Spring Song

Browse 1-25 of 89 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Mendelssohn & Friends
    Label: Farao   Catalog: 108082 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Eric Terwilliger,  Kirill Troussov,  Wenn-Sinn Yang
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sax Allemande
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  • 2.
    Mendelssohn: Lieder Ohne Worte
    Label: Piano Classics   Catalog: 67 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Balazs Szkolay
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  • 3.
    Bernd Glemser Plays Mendelssohn
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 430 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Bernd Glemser
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  • 4.
    Lullabies / Catrin Finch
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4791482 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Catrin Finch,  Hannah Stone,  Bryn Terfel,  Kate Royal  ... 
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  • 5.
    10 Classic Albums / Mischa Maisky [11-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001801402 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Charles Gounod,  George Frideric Handel,  Jean-Baptiste Lully  ... 
    Performer:  Mischa Maisky,  Pavel Gililov,  Daria Hovora,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6.
    Label: Somerset Entertainment   Catalog: 51767 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  George Frideric Handel,  Erik Satie  ... 
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  • 7.
    The Maiden's Prayer And Other Gems / Philip Martin
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55410 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christian Sinding,  Antonín Dvorák,  Selim Palmgren,  T Badarzewska-Baranowska  ... 
    Performer:  Philip Martin
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  • 8.
    The Complete Vladimir De Pachmann
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 54003 Release Date: 03/12/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Leopold Godowsky,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir de Pachmann
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  • 9.
    August Nolck: Salon Music
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1399 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  August Nolck,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Beth Vanderborgh,  Theresa Bogard
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  • 10.
    Rudolf Ganz Am Klavier Und Als Dirigent
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2377 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Adolf Jensen,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Rudolf Ganz
    Conductor:  Rudolf Ganz
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  • 11.
    A Tribute To Fritz Kreisler
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001637702 Release Date: 01/17/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci,  Brooks Smith,  Fritz Kreisler,  Haddon Squire  ... 
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  • 12.
    The Romantic Era - Beethoven, Etc / Horowitz, Reiner, Szell
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5002 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Czerny,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 13.
    Morning Mood
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 78166 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Frederick Delius,  Antonio Vivaldi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Georg Hörtnagel,  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Rudolf Buchbinder  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
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  • 14.
    Romance Of The Flute And Harp / Philippa Davies, Thelma Owen
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1145 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alphonse Hasselmans,  Benjamin Godard,  Félix Godefroid,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Thelma Owen,  Philippa Davies
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  • 15.
    Best Piano Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 82166 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder
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  • 16.
    Classical Strings
    Label: Tgg   Catalog: 60214 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  Franz Schubert,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Johan Svendsen  ... 
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  • 17.
    Dinner Classics
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 9063 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  Anton Rubinstein,  Edvard Grieg,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  János Bálint,  Deborah Sipkai,  Dénes Várjon  ... 
    Conductor:  Béla Bánfalvi,  Janos Kovács,  Emil Tabakov,  Pavel Urbanek  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Mozart Ensemble
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  • 18.
    Mendelssohn: Works For Clarinet, Basset Horn & Piano
    Label: Amon Ra   Catalog: 38 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Richard Burnett,  Alan Hacker,  Lesley Schatzberger
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  • 19.
    Essential Piano
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27925 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Daniel Adni,  John Ogdon,  Jean-Philippe Collard  ... 
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  • 20.
    Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn: Piano Works / Wilhelm Backhaus
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 433902 Release Date: 08/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus
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  • 21.
    50 Best Piano
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57540 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  André Watts,  Stanislav Bunin,  Moura Lympany  ... 
    Conductor:  Wayne Marshall,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  David Zinman  ... 
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  • 22.
    Reverie
    Label: Hbr   Catalog: 5637618609 Release Date: 04/06/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marcel Tournier,  Claude Debussy,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Carlos Salzedo  ... 
    Performer:  Mindy Cutcher
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  • 23.
    Easy Listening Piano Classics - Mendelssohn And Field
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578079-80 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  John Field
    Performer:  Péter Nagy,  Benjamin Frith
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  • 24.
    Mendelssohn Highlights
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149502 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Renate Schorler,  Valentin Gheorghiu,  Igor Oistrach
    Conductor:  Herbert Kegel,  Franz Konwitschny,  Kurt Masur,  Günther Herbig
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  • 25.
    Vladimir Horowitz - Complete Original Jacket Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 757500 Release Date: 12/01/2009   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Nathan Milstein
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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