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Moses, who sought to modernize Judaism with reason and humanism, changed the family name from Mendel Dessau to Mendelssohn. Although Felix became a committed Lutheran, he refused to adopt Bartholdy as a surname. As youngsters, both Felix and his sister Fanny were sent to Paris to study piano and the works of Mozart and Bach.

A Fanny Mendelssohn masterpiece finally gets its due

Musicians of the day praised the precociously gifted Felix as the second Mozart. Fanny, too, was notably accomplished at playing and composing music, but social mores for upper-class women would lock her talent away. Finally, when she was 40, a musician outside the family circle encouraged her, and she published a few of her several hundred compositions to favorable review. After completing his studies at Berlin University, Mendelssohn traveled and performed all over Europe. Not surprisingly, he became a favorite composer and personal friend of Queen Victoria and Prince Consort Albert.

When he was 26, he became conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, performing many of the works of J. Bach and Beethoven. His concert seasons were unmatched in Europe, both in musical quality and repertoire. He would later rescue Franz Schubert in a similar way. Now what was the new ideal in music to be — pure instrumental music or music with a literary orientation?

Gentle Genius the Story of Felix Mendelssohn by Marek George R

Mendelssohn and his colleagues committed themselves to creating program music, in which the instrumentation is the vehicle for conveying the meaning of words and, ultimately, for expressing what words cannot. Mendelssohn used two musical forms — the chorale and large instrumental works with chorale-like finales — to advance themes of reconciliation and brotherhood.

She turned to it, and wrote a massive, complex, energetic and adventurous piece. That it was a masterpiece was obvious to the collector and record producer Henri-Jacques Coudert, who found the manuscript in a Paris bookshop in He bought it and arranged for it to be recorded by pianist Eric Heidsieck, as a newly discovered work by Felix Mendelssohn.


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When she tracked down Coudert in Paris and persuaded him to show her the precious manuscript, he insisted it was by Felix and only copied out by Fanny. And those numbers were the ones missing from the volume in Berlin. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Classical music. Women International Women's Day features. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Moreover, he practised on a dumb keyboard while sitting up in bed. His public appearances were greeted with wild enthusiasm. The best account of them is in his own letters, for he was a charming letter-writer. The season closed, and at the end of July he set off for Edinburgh.

He wanted to see Scotland, he said, because of the Waverley Novels, all of which he had read.

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For companion he took with him his friend Carl Klingemann, then secretary to the Hanoverian Embassy in London. He was enraptured with Edinburgh, and the Highland soldiers marching from the church to the Castle specially took his attention. He even got a Scots piper to play to him at his hotel. He was in a mood to be pleased with everything and everybody. For Mendelssohn was not satisfied with seeing Edinburgh.

By way of Stirling and Perth, he and Klingemann proceeded to the Highlands, with Highland weather accompanying them till they reached Glasgow. The little boys, "with their kilts and bare knees and gay-coloured bonnets, the waiter in his tartan, old people with pigtails, all talk helter-skelter in their unintelligible Gaelic. Later on, at Tobermory, they found everything "perfectly charming. But both Germans were getting used to "good Scots drink. Mendelssohn was a bad sailor, and was most unromantically sea-sick. To make matters worse, it rained all the time, until he exclaimed in despair that the Highlands speared to brew nothing but whisky and bad weather.

It was a constant matter of dispute between him and Klingemann whether the wet should be called rain or mist. There were no beds on the boat, and the passengers lay about like herrings.


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  4. Klingemann tells that when half asleep he tried to drive away the flies from his face and found that he was tearing at the grizzly locks of an old Highlander. Discomforts of various kinds attended them till they got to Glasgow, but in spite of it all, Mendelssohn hugely enjoyed himself. In one of his Glasgow letters he says: "It is no wonder that the Highlands have been called melancholy.

    But two fellows have wandered merrily about them, laughed at every opportunity, rhymed and sketched together, growled at one another and at the world when they happened to be vexed or did not find anything to eat; devoured everything eatable when they did find it, and slept twelve hours every night. These two were we, who will not forget it as long as we live. The Scottish tour was almost immediately followed by a tour in Italy. There were other wanderings, including a visit to Paris, where, to use his to own expression, Mendelssohn "cast himself thoroughly into the vortex.

    Parisians, he complained, were ignorant of Beethoven, and "believed Bach to be a mere old-fashioned wig stuffed with learning. Piano music, when Mendelssohn began writing them, was mostly given over to mechanical dexterity. Musical claptraps, skips from one end of the keyboard to the other, endless shakes and arpeggios-that was the kind of thing in vogue. The English equivalent was not settled without difficulty. The first book was published in , with the title of Original Melodies for the Pianoforte. It is astonishing to recall the fact this first book took four years to reach a sale of copies.

    It was Moscheles who found a publisher for it, and, foreseeing its value, arranged for a royalty for the composer. Paul , a work which has been quite eclipsed in popularity by the companion Elijah. Hitherto home influences had prevailed; now he was to be dependent on himself.

    Mendelssohn: Biography | Music Appreciation

    He complained that by four in the afternoon half the town was drunk, so that he had to do all his business in the morning. And the band was far from being to his mind. If you once heard me conduct this orchestra, not even four horses could bring you there a second time. Here the conditions were entirely congenial, and he went on with his work in the best of spirits, the musical idol of town.

    Still, there was something wanting to complete his happiness. He wanted a wife. In he went to Frankfort on a professional engagement, and an engagement of another kind soon followed. He would test his feelings by going away for a month. If he were then still in love, he would propose. My head is quite giddy; it is already late at night, and I have nothing else to say; but I must write to you, I feel so rich and happy.

    www.gtentechnologies.com/wp-includes/2019-08-02/gutap-whats-the.php To-morrow I will, if I can, write a long letter, and so, if possible, will my dear betrothed. The marriage took place in March , and during the honeymoon Mendelssohn expressed himself as more ecstatic than ever. As bad luck would have it, he had to tear himself away from his wife and start for England to conduct his St.

    Paul at the Birmingham Festival. And this is how he growls, writing to Hiller from London: "Here I sit in the fog, very cross, without my wife, writing you because your letter of the day before yesterday requires it, otherwise I should hardly do so, for I am much too cross and melancholy to-day. I must be a little fond of my wife, because I find that England and the fog, and beef and porter, have such a horribly bitter taste this time, and I used to like them so much.

    His beautiful, gentle, sensible wife spread a charm over the whole household, which enabled him to throw off such professional outside worries as beset him during his short, strenuous career.

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    Everybody who met her praised Frau Mendelssohn. The Leipzig home looked out upon the St. He revived the Matthew Passion at Berlin when he was only twenty. During his visits to London, he was constantly preaching, playing, or talking about Bach.