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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: Songs Without Words / Javier Perianes
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902195   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Symphony no 3, Hebrides; Schumann: Piano Concerto / Pires, Gardiner [SACD+Blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 765   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Christus / Piau, Equilbey, Accentus
Release Date: 01/31/2012   Label: Naive  
Catalog: 5265   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn: Three Sonatas, Rondo /  Frederic Chiu
Release Date: 06/08/2004   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 3957117   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn, Bruch: Octets / Kodály Quartet, Auer Quartet
Release Date: 04/18/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557270   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Songs without words: Spring Song

Browse 26-50 of 88 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    Debut - Mendelssohn, Mozart, Schumann, Ravel / Hae Sun Paik
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 72827 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Hae Sun Paik
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  • 28.
    Suites & Sweets / Bradley Joseph
    Label: Robbins Island Entertainment   Catalog: 5637536090 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Luigi Boccherini  ... 
    Performer:  Bradley Joseph
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  • 29.
    Vladimir Horowitz - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 742200 Release Date: 06/23/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Liszt,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 30.
    The Mendelssohn Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 517453 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris,  Barbara Bonney,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Maxim Vengerov  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Raymond Leppard,  Armin Jordan,  Edward Higginbottom
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Éder String Quartet  ... 
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  • 31.
    Liszt, Mendelssohn, Schubert: Piano Works / Barenboim
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 415118 Release Date: 10/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
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  • 32.
    Vladimir Horowitz - Original Jacket Collection 2008
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 731623 Release Date: 10/21/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 33.
    The Art Of The Harp / Giles, McGuire
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4766808 Release Date: 07/15/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Christian Pezold,  Thomas Campion,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Marshall McGuire,  Alice Giles
    CD: $23.99
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  • 34.
    Leipzig Classics
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149252 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Edvard Grieg,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Richard Wagner  ... 
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  • 35.
    My Piano Lesson
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184392 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Norman Shetler,  Dieter Zechlin,  Peter Rösel,  Cécile Ousset  ... 
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  • 36.
    40 Most Beautiful Spring Classics - Vivaldi, Glazunov, Copland, Etc / Masur, Koopman, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 447100 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Performer:  Marieke Blankestijn,  Sumi Jo,  Barbara Bonney,  Viktoria Postnikova  ... 
    Conductor:  James Conlon,  Kurt Masur,  Zubin Mehta,  Hugh Wolff  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 37.
    Clair De Lune - Romantic Classical Showpieces / Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 35039 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Rudolf Sieczynski,  Johannes Brahms,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 38.
    Ultimate Mendelssohn - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001084202 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  András Schiff
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 39.
    Piano Fantasies
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 4916 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Elfrun Gabriel,  Andreas Pistorius,  Dieter Zechlin,  Renate Schorler  ... 
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  • 40.
    Best Romantic Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15490 Release Date: 01/15/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Lucio Quarantotto,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Byzantine,  Amy Nuttall,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Sharon Isbin  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Kershaw,  Seiji Ozawa,  Lawrence Foster,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra,  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra  ... 
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  • 41.
    Touch Your Soul
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1275 Release Date: 12/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Elfrun Gabriel,  Andreas Pistorius,  Dieter Zechlin,  Renate Schorler  ... 
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  • 42.
    Basics - Voices Of Spring - Suppé, Et Al / Suitner, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8599 Release Date: 11/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz von Suppé,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Olbertz,  Günther Leib,  Karl Suske,  Peter Schreier  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Manfred Honeck,  Carl von Garaguly,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 43.
    Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words / Strauss, Garben
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570213 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Axel Strauss,  Cord Garben
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  • 44.
    The Ultimate Most Relaxing Classical Music In The Universe
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17637 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Charles Gounod,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Konstantin Lifschitz,  Susanna Mildonian,  Maxence Larrieu,  Jean-Jacques Kantorow  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Manze,  Antoni Ros Marbà,  Sir Charles Groves,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Stravaganza Cologne,  Netherlands Chamber Orchestra,  Zurich Baroque Strings  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 45.
    Ultimate Piano Classics - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000766402 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Rhondda Gillespie,  Julius Katchen,  András Schiff  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 46.
    Best Piano Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70886 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Aldo Ciccolini,  John Ogdon,  Stanislav Bunin,  Moura Lympany  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Simon Rattle,  Riccardo Muti,  George Szell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Borodin String Quartet members,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 47.
    Music Of A Bygone Era / Frank Glazer
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9194 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Léo Delibes,  Stephen Heller,  Edward MacDowell,  Ignace Jan Paderewski  ... 
    Performer:  Frank Glazer
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  • 48.
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 95802 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    CD: $5.99
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  • 49.
    Song Of The Night
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4765250 Release Date: 05/15/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Carlos Salzedo,  Jules Massenet,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Alice Giles
    CD: $22.49
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  • 50.
    Piano Favorites - Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Et Al / Klien
    Label: Vox Allegretto   Catalog: ACD 8023 Release Date: 04/27/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Klien
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