Felix Mendelssohn


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: String Quartets, Vol. 1 / Doric String Quartet
Release Date: 09/07/2018   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 20122   Number of Discs: 2
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Mendelssohn: String Symphonies Vol 1 / Ward, Northern Co
Release Date: 01/23/1996   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553161   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: String Symphonies Vol 3 / Ward, Northern Co
Release Date: 08/05/1997   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553163   Number of Discs: 1
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Classics - Mendelssohn: Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2 / Borodin Trio
Release Date: 07/28/2009   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10535   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn & Bach: Magnificats in D Major
Release Date: 10/27/2009   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572161   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Songs without words: Spring Song

Browse 1-25 of 79 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    In Between - Schumann & Mendelssohn / Pacini
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 570777 Release Date: 05/11/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Clara Wieck Schumann,  Robert Schumann,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Sophie Pacini
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  • 2.
    Mutterissimo: The Art of Anne-Sophie Mutter
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002597802 Release Date: 12/23/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Lambert Orkis,  André Previn
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Manfred Honeck,  Kurt Masur,  Paul Sacher  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Discover Piano Classics
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300719 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Erik Satie,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Friedrich Gulda,  Andrej Hoteev,  Jeroen van Veen,  Matthias Kirschnereit  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Traum Suß, Mein Baby, Vol. 2 (Sweet Dreams, My Baby)
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 11016 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  George Frideric Handel,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Hélčne Gŕl,  Arife Gülsen Tatu,  Anna Lelkes,  Miklós Spányi  ... 
    Conductor:  Henry Adolph,  Sidney Lark,  Carlo Pantelli,  Alberto Lizzio  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Mozart Soloists
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  • 5.
    111 - The Piano - Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002281002 Release Date: 04/21/2015   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Géza Anda,  Martha Argerich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
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  • 6.
    Liebestraum: Romantic Piano Music
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94989 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Misha Goldstein
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  • 7.
    Mendelssohn & Friends
    Label: Farao   Catalog: 108082 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Eric Terwilliger,  Kirill Troussov,  Wen-Sinn Yang
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sax Allemande
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  • 8.
    Mendelssohn: Lieder Ohne Worte
    Label: Piano Classics   Catalog: 67 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Balazs Szkolay
    CD: $29.99
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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  ... 
    CD: $54.49
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  • 11.
    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,  Tekla Badarzewska-Baranowska  ... 
    Performer:  Philip Martin
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  • 12.
    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
    CD: $55.49
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    A Tribute to Fritz Kreisler / Ricci, Smith
    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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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    Piano Favorites - Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Et Al / Klien
    Label: Vox Allegretto   Catalog: ACD 8023 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Klien
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    Best Piano Music / Buchbinder
    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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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    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,  Michel Béroff  ... 
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  • 25.
    Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn: Piano Works / Wilhelm Backhaus
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 433902 Release Date: 08/04/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus
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