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: Midsummer Night's Dream, Piano Concertos / Chailly
Release Date: 06/17/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002082502   Number of Discs: 1
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Mendelssohn, Adams: Violin Concertos / Jarvi, Hoopes,  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Naive  
Catalog: 5368   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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Mendelssohn: 5 Symphonies, 7 Overtures / Abbado, London So
Release Date: 05/14/2002   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 471467   Number of Discs: 4
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Mendelssohn: String Quartets / Vogler Quartet
Release Date: 08/16/2005   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 4091   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Songs without words: Spring Song

Browse 76-98 of 98 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Guiomar Novaës - The Complete Victor 78's
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4702 Release Date: 03/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isidore Philipp,  Moritz Moszkowski,  Franz Liszt,  Alexandre Levy  ... 
    Performer:  Guiomar Novaës
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  • 77.
    Nocturne / Gerhard Oppitz
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61968 Release Date: 08/30/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Frédéric Chopin,  Karol Szymanowski  ... 
    Performer:  Gerhard Oppitz
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  • 78.
    Label: Nosag Records   Catalog: 34 Release Date: 08/24/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Antonín Dvorák,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Karin Strid,  Semmy Stahlhammer
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  • 79.
    My First Recital (Enhanced)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4591352 Release Date: 07/10/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Anatol Ugorski,  Jean-Marc Luisada,  Daniel Barenboim,  Alexis Weissenberg  ... 
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  • 80.
    The Best Of Mendelssohn
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556660 Release Date: 10/20/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Benjamin Frith,  Takako Nishizaki,  Péter Nagy
    Conductor:  Robert Stankovsky,  Anthony Bramall,  Kenneth Jean,  Oliver Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra Kosice,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 81.
    Cartoons - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62368 Release Date: 05/14/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gioachino Rossini,  Paul Dukas,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Luisa Faine,  Barry Snyder,  Eugene List,  Frank Glazer  ... 
    Conductor:  Donald Hunsberger,  Samuel Adler,  Riccardo Chailly,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eastman Wind Ensemble,  Eastman School of Music Graduates,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
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  • 82.
    Romantic Piano - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62366 Release Date: 05/14/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Michie Koyama,  Katia Labčque,  Marielle Labčque,  Philippe Entremont  ... 
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  • 83.
    25 Classical Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8807 Release Date: 01/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alessandro Marcello,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Pervomaisky,  Ljiljan Molnar-Talajic,  Helmut Hucke,  Heinz Zickler  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lizzio,  Nikea Baroza,  Paul Angerer,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baroque Festival Orchestra,  Zagreb Philharmonic,  Pforzheim Southwest German Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 84.
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 656 Release Date: 12/12/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ignaz Friedman,  Darius Milhaud,  Josef Suk  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Spring
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  • 85.
    Mendelssohn - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64595 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  André Previn,  Elly Ameling,  Rudolf Jansen,  Michie Koyama  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Eugene Ormandy,  Michael Tilson Thomas  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Smithsonian Chamber Players,  L'Archibudelli  ... 
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  • 86.
    Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words, Etc. / Martin Jones
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7704 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Martin Jones
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  • 87.
    Für Elise - Best Of Romantic Piano Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550647 Release Date: 03/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Robert Schumann,  Erik Satie,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Balázs Szokolay,  Jénö Jandó,  Klára Körmendi,  Idil Biret  ... 
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  • 88.
    Piano Classics - 2 Hours Of Beautiful Classical Piano Works
    Label: Madacy Records   Catalog: 5435 Release Date: 09/09/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
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  • 89.
    The Complete Josef Hofmann Vol 3 - Chopin, Liszt
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1036 Release Date: 09/01/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Constantin Sternberg,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Carl Tausig  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Hofmann
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  • 90.
    The Best Of Mendelssohn
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 442302 Release Date: 05/10/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Werner Haas,  Salvatore Accardo
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Charles Dutoit,  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 91.
    Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words Vol. 2
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550453 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Péter Nagy
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  • 92.
    Romantic Piano Favourites Vol 3 / Balázs Szokolay
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550107 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Claude Debussy,  Ernö von Dohnányi  ... 
    Performer:  Balázs Szokolay,  Péter Nagy
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  • 93.
    Romantic Moments Vol 5 - Mendelssohn
    Label: Laserlight   Catalog: 14055 Release Date: 11/10/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  Miklós Perényi,  Zoltán Kocsis,  Emmy Verhey
    Conductor:  János Sándor,  Arpád Joó,  Janos Kovács
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Strings,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 94.
    Piano Collection / Arrau, Pollini, Richter, Gelber Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67205 Release Date: 09/29/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Scott Joplin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Isaac Albeniz  ... 
    Performer:  Marielle Labčque,  Katia Labčque,  Michel Béroff,  Jean-Philippe Collard  ... 
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  • 95.
    Horowitz Encores
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 7755 Release Date: 02/22/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Liszt,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 96.
    Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words / András Schiff
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421119 Release Date: 12/04/1987   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  András Schiff
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  • 97.
    Guiomar Novaes - The Complete Victor 78s
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 702 Release Date: 03/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis Moreau Gottschalk,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Ignace Jan Paderewski  ... 
    Performer:  Guiomar Novaës
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