Felix Mendelssohn

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Mendelssohn, Felix

(Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn) (mĕn`dəlsən, Ger. yä`kôp lo͝ot`vĭkh fā`lĭks mĕn`dəls-zōn'), 1809–47, German composer; grandson of the Jewish philosopher Moses MendelssohnMendelssohn, Moses
, 1729–86, German-Jewish philosopher; grandfather of Felix Mendelssohn. He was a leader in the movement for cultural assimilation. In 1743 he went to Berlin, where he studied and worked, becoming (1750) a partner in a silk merchant's firm.
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. Mendelssohn was one of the major figures in 19th-century music. His father, Abraham, upon conversion to Christianity, changed his surname to Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, a seldom-used form. A prodigy, reared in a highly cultured atmosphere, the young Felix, who began composing at age 10, presented his orchestral compositions to illustrious audiences at the family estate. His first mature work, the Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, now a classical concert staple, was composed at 17, and he showed similar precocity at the piano.

In 1829, he conducted the St. Matthew Passion, stimulating a revival of interest in the music of J. S. BachBach, Johann Sebastian
, 1685–1750, German composer and organist, b. Eisenach; one of the greatest and most influential composers of the Western world. He brought polyphonic baroque music to its culmination, creating masterful and vigorous works in almost every musical
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. He was musical director (1833–35) at Düsseldorf, became (1835) conductor of the Gewandhaus concerts, Leipzig, and helped found (1842–43) the Leipzig Conservatory. He was appointed (1841) director of the music section of the Academy of Arts, Berlin, and often conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra. His music is characterized by emotional restraint, refinement, sensitivity, and a fastidious adherence to classical forms. Of his five symphonies, the Scottish (1842), Italian (1833), and Reformation (1832) are best known. Frequently performed are his Violin Concerto in E Minor (1845); The Hebrides Overture, or Fingal's Cave (1832); and two oratorios, St. Paul (1836) and Elijah (1846). Outstanding piano works include the Variations sérieuses (1841) and eight sets of Songs without Words (1832–45). He also composed chamber music, songs, choral music, and six organ sonatas.


See his letters (ed. by G. Selden-Goth, 1945); biographies by G. R. Marek (1972), W. Blunt (1974), P. Mercer-Taylor (2000), and R. L. Todd (2003); H. Kupferberg, The Mendelssohns (1972).

References in periodicals archive ?
Dika Newlin [New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1963; reprint, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1978], 203; Heinz-Klaus Metzger, "Noch einmal: Die erste Walpurgisnacht: Versuch einer anderen Allegorese," in Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, ed.
Working with Hugo von Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1894-1975, great-grandson of the composer), Max F.
49) The Bodleian's collection of Mendelssohniana came into being primarily because of the friendship between Paul Victor Mendelssohn Benecke (1868-1944), grandson of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, and Margaret Deneke (1882-1969), honorary fellow and choirmaster of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.
Most obvious among these are the honeymoon diary compiled by Felix and Cecile Mendelssohn Bartholdy in 1837, (64) and the diaries Mendelssohn kept during his grand tour.
After the composer's death in 1847 Paul Mendelssohn Bartholdy began collecting the surviving musical autographs, including those not found in the bound volumes already available.
Er war immer mit hinein verflochten': Die Freunde Eduard Rietz und Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy und ihre Briefe.
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy als Lehrer und Freund von Eduard Franck.
Anton Christanell und seine Beziehungen zu Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.
The annotated bibliography of 938 items is organized into six chapters: "Life-and-Works Studies," "Memoirs, Recollections, and Editions of Letters," "Sociological and Cultural Studies," "Documentary Studies," "Studies of Individual Works and Repertoires," and "General Studies of the Music of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.
The title of item 868, "Die Entwicklung des Romantisehen in der Instrumentalmusik Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdys," is no more helpful to the reader than that of item 867, "Formal Novelty and Tradition in the Early Romantic Piano Concerto"; yet only the second entry is followed by a lengthy annotation.
Christian Martin Schmidt, who is perhaps best known for his extensive scholarship on Johannes Brahms and Arnold Schoenberg, is general editor of the Leipziger Ausgabe der Werke uon Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Leipzig: Deutscher Verlag fur Musik, 1960-77; Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Hartel 1997-), and his authority at the helm of that direly needed complete critical edition is confirmed by the vision he exerted in organizing anti publishing these studies.