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Felix Mendelssohn
 
 

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Gemälde von Eduard Magnus, 1846
 
 
Felix Mendelssohn, in full Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (born February 3, 1809, Hamburg [Germany]—died November 4, 1847, Leipzig), German composer, pianist, musical conductor, and teacher, one of the most-celebrated figures of the early Romantic period. In his music Mendelssohn largely observed Classical models and practices while initiating key aspects of Romanticism—the artistic movement that exalted feeling and the imagination above rigid forms and traditions. Among his most famous works are Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1826), Italian Symphony (1833), a violin concerto (1844), two piano concerti (1831, 1837), the oratorio Elijah (1846), and several pieces of chamber music. He was a grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn.

Early life and works
Felix was born of Jewish parents, Abraham and Lea Salomon Mendelssohn, from whom he took his first piano lessons. Though the Mendelssohn family was proud of their ancestry, they considered it desirable in accordance with 19th-century liberal ideas to mark their emancipation from the ghetto by adopting the Christian faith. Accordingly, Felix, together with his brother and two sisters, was baptized in 1816 as a Lutheran. In 1822, when his parents were also baptized, the entire family adopted the surname Bartholdy, following the example of Felix’s maternal uncle, who had chosen to adopt the name of a family farm.

In 1811, during the French occupation of Hamburg, the family had moved to Berlin, where Mendelssohn studied the piano with Ludwig Berger and composition with Carl Friedrich Zelter, who, as a composer and teacher, exerted an enormous influence on his development. Other teachers gave the Mendelssohn children lessons in literature and landscape painting, with the result that at an early age Mendelssohn’s mind was widely cultivated. His personality was nourished by a broad knowledge of the arts and was also stimulated by learning and scholarship. He traveled with his sister to Paris, where he took further piano lessons and where he appears to have become acquainted with the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Mendelssohn was an extemely precocious musical composer. He wrote numerous compositions during his boyhood, among them 5 operas, 11 symphonies for string orchestra, concerti, sonatas, and fugues. Most of these works were long preserved in manuscript in the Prussian State Library in Berlin but are believed to have been lost in World War II. He made his first public appearance in 1818—at age nine—in Berlin.

In 1821 Mendelssohn was taken to Weimar to meet J.W. von Goethe, for whom he played works of J.S. Bach and Mozart and to whom he dedicated his Piano Quartet No. 3. in B Minor (1825). A remarkable friendship developed between the aging poet and the 12-year-old musician. In Paris in 1825 Luigi Cherubini discerned Mendelssohn’s outstanding gifts. The next year he reached his full stature as a composer with the Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The atmospheric effects and the fresh lyrical melodies in this work revealed the mind of an original composer, while the animated orchestration looked forward to the orchestral manner of Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov.




Felix Mendelssohn

 

Mendelssohn also became active as a conductor. On March 11, 1829, at the Singakademie, Berlin, he conducted the first performance since Bach’s death of the St. Matthew Passion, thus inaugurating the Bach revival of the 19th century. Meanwhile he had visited Switzerland and had met Carl Maria von Weber, whose opera Der Freischütz, given in Berlin in 1821, encouraged him to develop a national character in music. Mendelssohn’s great work of this period was the String Octet in E Flat Major (1825), displaying not only technical mastery and an almost unprecedented lightness of touch but great melodic and rhythmic originality. Mendelssohn developed in this work the genre of the swift-moving scherzo (a playful musical movement) that he would also use in the incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1843).

In the spring of 1829 Mendelssohn made his first journey to England, conducting his Symphony No. 1 in C Minor (1824) at the London Philharmonic Society. In the summer he went to Scotland, of which he gave many poetic accounts in his evocative letters. He went there “with a rake for folksongs, an ear for the lovely, fragrant countryside, and a heart for the bare legs of the natives.” At Abbotsford he met Sir Walter Scott. The literary, pictorial, and musical elements of Mendelssohn’s imagination are often merged. Describing, in a letter written from the Hebrides, the manner in which the waves break on the Scottish coast, he noted down, in the form of a musical symbol, the opening bars of The Hebrides (1830–32). Between 1830 and 1832 he traveled in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland and in 1832 returned to London, where he conducted The Hebrides and where he published the first book of the piano music he called Lieder ohne Worte (Songs Without Words), completed in Venice in 1830. Mendelssohn, whose music in its day was held to be remarkable for its charm and elegance, was gradually becoming the most popular of 19th-century composers in England. His main reputation was made in England, which, in the course of his short life, he visited no fewer than 10 times. At the time of these visits, the character of his music was held to be predominantly Victorian, and indeed he eventually became the favourite composer of Queen Victoria herself.

Mendelssohn’s subtly ironic account of his meeting with the queen and the prince consort at Buckingham Palace in 1843, to both of whom he was affectionately drawn, shows him also to have been alive to both the pomp and the sham of the royal establishment. His Symphony No. 3 in A Minor–Major, or Scottish Symphony, as it is called, was dedicated to Queen Victoria. And he became endeared to the English musical public in other ways. The fashion for playing the “Wedding March” from his A Midsummer Night’s Dream at bridal processions originates from a performance of this piece at the wedding of the Princess Royal after Mendelssohn’s death, in 1858. In the meantime he had given the first performances in London of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Emperor and G Major concerti. He was among the first to play a concerto from memory in public—Mendelssohn’s memory was prodigious—and he also became known for his organ works. Later the popularity of his oratorio Elijah, first produced at Birmingham in 1846, established Mendelssohn as a composer whose influence on English music equaled that of George Frideric Handel. After his death this influence was sometimes held to have had a stifling effect. Later generations of English composers, enamoured of Richard Wagner, Claude Debussy, or Igor Stravinsky, revolted against the domination of Mendelssohn and condemned the sentimentality of his lesser works. But there is no doubt that he had, nevertheless, succeeded in arousing the native musical genius, at first by his performances and later in the creative sphere, from a dormant state.

A number of new experiences marked the grand tour that Mendelssohn had undertaken after his first London visit. Lively details of this tour are found in his long series of letters. On Goethe’s recommendation he had read Laurence Sterne’s Sentimental Journey, and, inspired by this work, he recorded his impressions with great verve. In Venice he was enchanted by the paintings of Titian and Giorgione. The papal singers in Rome, however, were “almost all unmusical,” and Gregorian music he found unintelligible. In Rome he describes a “haggard” colony of German artists “with terrific beards.” Later, at Leipzig, where Hector Berlioz and Mendelssohn exchanged batons, Berlioz offered an enormous cudgel of lime tree covered with bark, whereas Mendelssohn playfully presented his brazen contemporary with a delicate light stick of whalebone elegantly encased in leather. The contrast between these two batons precisely reflects the violently conflicting characters of the two composers.

In 1833 Mendelssohn was in London again to conduct his Italian Symphony (Symphony No. 4 in A Major–Minor), and in the same year he became music director of Düsseldorf, where he introduced into the church services the masses of Beethoven and Cherubini and the cantatas of Bach. At Düsseldorf, too, he began his first oratorio, St. Paul. In 1835 he became conductor of the celebrated Gewandhaus Orchestra at Leipzig, where he not only raised the standard of orchestral playing but made Leipzig the musical capital of Germany. Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann were among his friends at Leipzig, where, at his first concert with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, he conducted his overture Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt (1828–32; Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage).




Mendelssohn's wife Cécile (1846) by Eduard Magnus


 

Marriage and maturity
In 1835 Mendelssohn was overcome by the death of his father, Abraham, whose dearest wish had been that his son should complete the St. Paul. He accordingly plunged into this work with renewed determination and the following year conducted it at Düsseldorf. The same year at Frankfurt he met Cécile Jeanrenaud, the daughter of a French Protestant clergyman. Though she was 10 years younger than himself, that is to say, no more than 16, they became engaged and were married on March 28, 1837. His sister Fanny, the member of his family who remained closest to him, wrote of her sister-in-law: “She is amiable, childlike, fresh, bright and even-tempered, and I consider Felix most fortunate for, though inexpressibly fond of him, she does not spoil him, but when he is capricious, treats him with an equanimity which will in course of time most probably cure his fits of irritability altogether.” This was magnanimous praise on the part of Fanny, to whom Mendelssohn was drawn by musical as well as emotional ties. Fanny was not only a composer in her own right—she had herself written some of the Songs Without Words attributed to her brother—but she seems to have exercised, by her sisterly companionship, a powerful influence on the development of his inner musical nature.

Works written over the following years include the Variations sérieuses (1841), for piano, the Lobgesang (1840; Hymn of Praise), Psalm CXIV, the Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor (1837), and chamber works. In 1838 Mendelssohn began the Violin Concerto in E Minor–Major. Though he normally worked rapidly, throwing off works with the same facility as one writes a letter, this final expression of his lyrical genius compelled his arduous attention over the next six years. In the 20th century the Violin Concerto was still admired for its warmth of melody and for its vivacity, and it was also the work of Mendelssohn’s that, for nostalgic listeners, enshrined the elegant musical language of the 19th century. Nor was its popularity diminished by the later, more turgid, and often more dramatic violin concerti of Johannes Brahms, Béla Bartók, and Alban Berg. It is true that many of Mendelssohn’s works are cameos, delightful portraits or descriptive pieces, held to lack the characteristic Romantic depth. But occasionally, as in the Violin Concerto and certain of the chamber works, these predominantly lyrical qualities, so charming, naive, and fresh, themselves end by conveying a sense of the deeper Romantic wonder.

In 1843 Mendelssohn founded at Leipzig the conservatory of music where, together with Schumann, he taught composition. Visits to London and Birmingham followed, entailing an increasing number of engagements. These would hardly have affected his normal health; he had always lived on this feverish level. But at Frankfurt in May 1847 he was greatly saddened by the death of Fanny. It is at any rate likely that for a person of Mendelssohn’s sensibility, living at such intensity, the death of this close relative, to whom he was so completely bound, would undermine his whole being. In fact, after the death of his sister, his energies deserted him, and, following the rupture of a blood vessel, he soon died.

Assessment
Though the music of Mendelssohn, stylish and elegant, does not fill the entire musical scene, as it was inclined to do in Victorian times, it has elements that unite this versatile 19th-century composer to the principal artistic figures of his time. In the Midsummer Night’s Dream music, with its hilarious grunting of an ass on the bassoon and the evocative effect of Oberon’s horn, Mendelssohn becomes a partner in Shakespeare’s fairyland kingdom. The blurred impressionist effects in The Hebrides foreshadow the later developments of the painter J.M.W. Turner. Wagner understood Mendelssohn’s inventive powers as an orchestrator, as is shown in his own opera The Flying Dutchman, and, later, the French composers of the 20th century learned much from his grace and perfection of style.

The appeal of Mendelssohn’s work has not dwindled in the 21st century. It is true that Elijah is not so frequently performed as it once was and some of his fluent piano works are now overshadowed by the more-enduring works of Beethoven and Schumann. But the great pictorial works of Mendelssohn, the Scottish and Italian symphonies, repeatedly yield new vistas, and the Songs Without Words retain their graceful beauty. Mendelssohn was one of the first of the great 19th-century Romantic composers, and in this sense he remains even today a figure to be rediscovered.

Edward Lockspeiser

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
 

The musical development of the young Mendelssohn was not troubled, as it was for so many others, by struggle and financial hardship. Born in Hamburg, he was the son of rich and cultured parents, whose resources and encouragement were always at his disposal. The family soon moved to Berlin, where he studied the piano with his mother and took lessons in theory with Carl Zeltcr. From the age of 12 he composed prolifically, and his works were performed in the musical salon at the family home that became famous in Berlin. Weber visited in 1821 and made a lasting impression on the young composer.

Mendelssohn was very close to his sister Fanny, also prodigiously talented but lacking the support her brother received. In 1826 they read Shakespeare together, resulting in Mendelssohn's overture A midsummer night's dream. The assured mastery of this work and the radiant Octet of the previous year were astonishing achievements for a boy in his late teens and it is no surprise that he was compared with Mozart. A midsummer night's dream bears the Mendelssohn hallmark of elegant melodic invention, effortlessly interweaving one or two programmatic effects, such as a musical donkey's "hee-haw", without interrupting the musical flow. Later he added other movements to complete the incidental music for the play.

A keen advocate of the music of J.S. Bach, in 1829 Mendelssohn conducted the first performance of the St Matthew Passion since its composer's death, giving a boost to the revival of Bach's works then under way and leading to a performance of sections of the Passion in London in 1837.

About this time he decided to establish himself independently as a professional musician. The Berlin musical scene was not ideal: his only opera had been a failure there in 1827. Other musicians resented his privilege and found him egotistical - complaints that were made more acute because they were mixed with a strain of anti-Semitism against his Jewish family background. It made no difference that Mendelssohn's parents were converted Christians and he himself was baptized.

He then embarked upon a number of tours in search of employment and late in 1 829 arrived in London on the first of ten visits to England. He also toured Scotland, where stunning rock formations on the island of Staffa inspired the Hebrides overture. Mendelssohn's melodic genius was never better displayed than in the main theme of this beautifully lyrical work.

His travels to Scotland and a visit to Italy the following year also provided an impression of the national musical character of the two countries, later translated into the Scotttish and Italian symphonies. Although his melodies are undoubtedly Romantic, these symphonies still keep to the basic Classical forms. Mendelssohn's habit was to compose first for piano and orchestrate later, indicating a Classical concern for structure before colour.

After further travels, including a visit to Paris where lie met Chopin and Liszt, Mendelssohn finally secured a directorial position in Dusseldorf in 1833; but his somewhat despotic approach encountered resistance and in 1835 he moved to Leipzig as conductor at the famous Gewandhaus. This post was more congenial and lasted until 1846. The orchestra's leader was the accomplished violinist Ferdinand David, who became a good friend and inspired the Violin concerto of 1844. Mendelssohn also found happiness in love and in 1837 he married Cecile Jeanrenaud.

He continued to travel, especially to England, where he conducted his oratorio St Paul and, during a later visit in 1842, played for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, to the screeching accompaniment of the royal parrot.

In 1840 he had proposed the establishment of a conservatoire in Leipzig but was interrupted in his negotiations by an invitation, then virtually a royal command, to go to Berlin as Kapellmeister to the King of Prussia. Again he was greeted rather sourly by musicians and public alike, and soon tendered his resignation. With the compromise of a reduction in his responsibilities, he was able to return to Leipzig, and the Conservatoire opened in 1843.

Mendelssohn continued to conduct at the Gewandhaus and to direct and teach at the Conservatoire. He put heart and soul into his great oratorio Elijah, which he conducted at its premiere in Birmingham in 1846, when it showed Mendelssohn at his most dramatic and romantic. He was already exhausted by travel and overwork when the shattering news of his sister Fanny's death brought on a severe depression. Fits of shivering and head pains followed, leading to a fatal stroke. When he died at just 38, he was mourned especially by Schumann, who felt that Europe had lost a potential successor to Beethoven.

 
 
 
 
   

Violin Concerto in E minor, op.64
Allegro
Andante
Allegretto

 

Adam Kostecki 
Violin Concerto in D minor

Allegro

 

A Midsummer Night's Dream, op.21
Overture
Scherzo
Wedding March

 

Junge Philharmonie Koln
Symphony no. 4 "Italian"
Saltarello
Presto

 

 

Joel Abrahamson
Organ Sonata No. 1 
Adagio

 

Michael Schultheis
Sonata for organ no. 2 in F minor
Allegro maestoso e vivace

 

Piano Sonata in B flat major, op. 106 
Allegro vivace
Scherzo: Allegro non troppo
Andante quasi allegretto - Allegro molto
Allegro moderato

 

Daniel Gortler
Songs without Words, Vol. I

No. 1 in E major Andante con moto
No. 2 in A minor Andante espressivo
No. 3 in A major "Hunting Song"
No. 4 in A major Moderato
No. 5 in F sharp minor Piano agitato
No. 6 in G minor "Venetian Gondola Song"

No. 1 in E flat major Andante espressivo
No. 2 in B flat minor Allegro di molto
No. 3 in E major Adagio non troppo
No. 4 in B minor Agitato e con fuoco
No. 5 in D major Andante grazioso
No. 6 in F sharp minor

No. 1 in E flat major Con moto
No. 2 in C minor Allegro non troppo
No. 3 in E major Presto e molto vivace
No. 4 in major Andante
No. 5 in A minor Agitato
No. 6 in A flat major

No. 1 in A flat major
No. 2 in E flat major
No. 3 in G minor Presto agitato
No. 4 in F major Adagio
No. 5 in A minor "Folksong"
No. 6 in A major Molto Allegro, vivace
No. 1 in G major Andante espressivo
No. 2 in B flat major Allegro con fuoco
No. 3 in E minor "Funeral March"
No. 4 in G major Allegro con anima
No. 5 in A minor "Venetian Gondola Song"
No. 6 in A major "Spring song"
No. 1 in E flat major Andante
No. 2 in F sharp minor Allegro leggiero
No. 3 in B Flat major Andante tranquillo
No. 4 in C major "Spinning Song" Presto
No. 5 in B minor Moderato
No. 6 in E major Allegretto non troppo
No. 1 in F major Andante espressivo
No. 2 in A minor Allegro agitato
No. 3 in E flat major Presto
No. 4 in D major Andante sostenuto
No. 5 in A major Allegretto
No. 6 in B flat major Allegretto con moto
No. 1 in E minor Andante, un poco agitato
No. 2 in D major Adagio
No. 3 in C major Presto
No. 4 in G minor
No. 5 in A major Allegro vivace
No. 6 in C major Andante

 
 
 
 
 
The Best of Mendelssohn
 
Felix Mendelssohn

Tracklist:
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
A Midsummer Night's Dream

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn: Gondola Song in F sharp minor, op. 30 no. 6 - R. Prosseda
 
Roberto Prosseda plays Mendelssohn's Lied ohne Worte op. 30 no. 6 "Venetianische Gondellied". Live in Vicenza, Teatro Olimpico, June 11, 2009. Settimane Musicali al Teatro Olimpico. Film director: Pietro Tagliaferri
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn: Rondò Capriccioso op. 14 - Prosseda
 
Italian pianist Roberto Prosseda plays Mendelssohn's Rondò Capriccioso. Live in Milano, Sala Verdi, Feb. 20, 2012. Serate Musicali. Unedited. Recorded by Ing. Maurizio Sanfelici.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn - Songs Without Words (complete set) - Rena Kyriakou
 
Rena Kyriakou (1917-1994), piano

Book 1, Op. 19b (1829-1830)
00:00:00 No. 1 in E major
00:04:38 No. 2 in A minor
00:06:50 No. 3 in A major
00:09:16 No. 4 in A major
00:11:32 No. 5 in F-sharp minor
00:14:14 No. 6 in G minor

Book 2, Op. 30 (1833-1834)
00:16:49 No. 1 in E-flat major
00:21:32 No. 2 in B-flat minor
00:23:48 No. 3 in E major
00:26:01 No. 4 in B minor
00:28:56 No. 5 in D major
00:31:20 No. 6 in F-sharp minor

Book 3, Op. 38 (1836-1837)
00:35:05 No. 1 in E-flat major
00:37:06 No. 2 in C minor
00:38:51 No. 3 in E major
00:41:05 No. 4 in A major
00:43:27 No. 5 in A minor
00:45:54 No. 6 in A-flat major

Book 4, Op. 53 (1839-1841)
00:50:07 No. 1 in A-flat major
00:53:46 No. 2 in E-flat major
00:55:53 No. 3 in G minor
00:58:40 No. 4 in F major
01:01:40 No. 5 in A minor
01:04:40 No. 6 in A major

Book 5, Op. 62 (1842-1844)
01:07:21 No. 1 in G major
01:10:24 No. 2 in B-flat major
01:12:21 No. 3 in E minor
01:16:11 No. 4 in G major
01:17:37 No. 5 in A minor
01:20:56 No. 6 in A major

Book 6, Op. 67 (1843-1845)
01:23:14 No. 1 in E-flat major
01:26:17 No. 2 in F-sharp minor
01:28:36 No. 3 in B-flat major
01:31:10 No. 4 in C major
01:33:05 No. 5 in B minor
01:35:06 No. 6 in E major

Book 7, Op. 85 (1834-1845)
01:37:19 No. 1 in F major
01:40:10 No. 2 in A minor
01:41:07 No. 3 in E-flat major
01:43:31 No. 4 in D major
01:47:14 No. 5 in A major
01:49:15 No. 6 in B-flat major

Book 8, Op. 102 (1842-1845)
01:51:35 No. 1 in E minor
01:54:32 No. 2 in D major
01:56:46 No. 3 in C major
01:58:17 No. 4 in G minor
02:00:30 No. 5 in A major
02:01:38 No. 6 in C major

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
F. Mendelssohn - D. Barenboim (Songs without words, Complete)
 
Songs without words (complete recording)
Pianist: Daniel Barenboim
1. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.19 - No. 1 in E (Andante con moto) "Sweet Remembrance" 3:08
2. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.19 - No. 2 in A minor (Andante espressivo) 2:19

3. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.19 - No. 3 in A (Molto allegro) "Hunting Song" 2:09
4. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.19 - No. 4 in A (Moderato) 2:02
5. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.19 - No. 5 in F sharp minor (Agitato) "Restlessness" 3:02
6. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.19 - No. 6 in G minor (Andante sostenuto) "Venetian Gondola Song" 1:52
7. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.30 - No. 1. Andante espressivo in E flat 4:23
8. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.30 - No. 2. Allegro di molto in B flat minor 1:55
9. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.30 - No. 3. Andante sostenuto in E "Consolation" 2:13
10. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.30 - No. 4. Agitato e con fuoco in B minor 2:29
11. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.30 - No. 5. Andante grazioso in D 1:38
12. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.30 - No. 6. Allegretto in F sharp minor "Venetian Gondola Song" 2:56
13. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.38 - No. 1. Con moto in E flat 2:40
14. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.38 - No. 2. Allegro non troppo in C minor "Lost Happiness" 1:53
15. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.38 - No. 3. Presto in E "La harpe du poète" 2:12
16. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.38 - No. 4. Andante in A 2:25
17. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.38 - No. 5. Agitato in A minor "Appassionata" 2:15
18. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.38 - No. 6. Andante con moto in A flat "Duetto" 2:17
19. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.53 - No. 1. Andante con moto in A flat 3:22
20. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.53 - No. 2. Allegro non troppo in E flat "The Fleecy Cloud" 2:39
21. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.53 - No. 3. Presto agitato in G minor 2:29
22. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.53 - No. 4. Adagio in F "Sadness of Soul" 2:23 $0.99
23. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.53 - No. 5. Allegro in A minor "Folk-Song" 2:46
24. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.53 - No. 6. Molto allegro vivace in A "La fuite" 2.33
CD(2) 1. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.62 - No. 1 Andante espressivo in G 2:03
2. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.62 - No. 2 Allegro con fuoco in B flat 1:36
3. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.62 - No. 3 Andante maestoso in E minor "Funeral March" 2:48
4. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.62 - No. 4 Allegro con anima in G "Morning Song" 1:25
5. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.62 - No. 5 Andante in A minor "Venetian Gondola Song" 2:50
6. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.62 - No. 6 Andante grazioso in A "Spring Song" 2:08
7. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.67 - No. 1. Andante in E flat 2:24
8. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.67 - No. 2. Allegro leggiero in F sharp minor "Lost Illusions" 2:08
9. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.67 - No. 3. Andante tranquillo in B flat 2:41

10. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.67 - No. 4. Presto in C "Spinning Song" 1:54

11. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.67 - No. 5. Moderato in B minor "The Shepherd's complaint" 2:10
12. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.67 - No. 6. Allegro non troppo in E "Cradle Song" 2:11
13. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.85 - No. 1. Andante espressivo in F 2:24
14. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.85 - No. 2. Allegro agitato in A minor "Adieu" 0:56
15. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.85 - No. 3. Presto in E flat 2:22
6. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.85 - No. 4. Andante sostenuto in D "Elegy" 2:51
17. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.85 - No. 5. Allegretto in A 1:48
18. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.85 - No. 6. Allegretto con moto in B flat 2:01
19. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.102 - No. 1. Andante un poco agitato in E minor 3:10
20. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.102 - No. 2. Adagio in D 2:13
21. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.102 - No. 3. Presto in C "Tarantelle" 1:17
22. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.102 - No. 4. Un poco agitato in G minor "The Sighing Wind" 2:16
23. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.102 - No. 5. Allegro vivace in A "The Joyous Peasant" 1:06
24. Lieder ohne Worte, Op.102 - No. 6. Andante in C "Belief" 2:30
25. 6 Kinderstücke op.72 - 1. Allegro non troppo 0:58
26. 6 Kinderstücke op.72 - 2. Andante sostenuto 1:47
27. 6 Kinderstücke op.72 - 3. Allegretto 0:57
28. 6 Kinderstücke op.72 - 4. Andante con moto 1:47
29. 6 Kinderstücke op.72 - 5. Allegro assai 1:31
30. 6 Kinderstücke op.72 - 6. Vivace 1:26
31. Gondellied (Barcarolle) in A major (1837) - Allegretto non troppo 2:30
32. 2 Klavierstücke - 1. Andante cantabile 3:07
33. 2 Klavierstücke - 2. Presto agitato 2:29
34. Albumblatt (Lied ohne Worte) in E minor, Op.117 - Allegro

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn - Sinfonia n.1 - Sawallisch
 
Sinfonia n.1 Op.11 (1824)
Mendelssohn scrisse la sua sinfonia n.1 nel marzo 1824, all'età di quindici anni, un'anno prima del suo famoso ottetto. Non era il suo primo tentativo in questo genere, avendo già scritto una dozzina di sinfonie per soli archi. La sinfonia Op.11 (inizialmente etichettata dal compositore come n.13) in ogni caso è la prima per orchestra completa. La forma di questo pezzo ricorda la musica di Mozart e Schubert (anche se la musica di quest'ultimo era sconosciuta al giovane Mendelssohn) e nonostante sia lavoro di un'adolescente è un pezzo avvincente il cui relativo trascuramento non è giustificato.

00:00
Primo movimento: Allegro di molto
Dipinto: Vista di Maxen

07:45
Secondo movimento: Andante
Dipinto: Villa d'Este, Tivoli

14:31
Terzo movimento: Menuetto - Allegretto
Dipinto: Burg Scharfenberg di notte

20:50
Quarto movimento: Allegro con fuoco
Dipinto: La tempesta incombente

Interpretazione della New Philharmonia Orchestra condotta da Wolfgang Sawallisch

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 2 'Lobgesang' Halle Orchestra - Sir Mark Elder
 
Cracking performance from the 2009 BBC Proms!

From Wikipedia:
The Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, op. 52, called the "Lobgesang" (or "Hymn of Praise") Symphony, was composed by Felix Mendelssohn. It was written in 1840 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the invention of printing, along with the less-known Festgesang "Gutenberg Cantata".
The composer's description of the work was 'A Symphony-Cantata on Words of the Holy Bible, for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra'. Structurally, it consists of three purely orchestral movements followed by 11 movements for chorus and/or soloists and orchestra, and lasts approximately 65--70 minutes in total.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 'Scottish' - Harnoncourt - Chamber Orchestra of Europe
 
 
 
 
 
 
Symphony n.4 op.90 "Italiana" - 1829 - 1833
 
 
 
 
The Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90, commonly known as the Italian, is an orchestral symphony written by German composer Felix Mendelssohn. The work has its origins (such as the composer's "Scottish/3rd Symphony" and "The Hebrides" overture) in the tour of Europe which occupied Mendelssohn from 1829 to 1831. Its inspiration is the colour and atmosphere of Italy, where Mendelssohn made sketches but left the work incomplete:

This is Italy! And now has begun what I have always thought... to be the supreme joy in life. And I am loving it. Today was so rich that now, in the evening, I must collect myself a little, and so I am writing to you to thank you, dear parents, for having given me all this happiness.

In February he wrote from Rome to his sister Fanny,

The Italian symphony is making great progress. It will be the jolliest piece I have ever done, especially the last movement. I have not found anything for the slow movement yet, and I think that I will save that for Naples.

The Italian Symphony was finished in Berlin on 13 March 1833, in response to an invitation for a symphony from the London (now Royal) Philharmonic Society; he conducted the first performance himself in London on 13 May 1833 at a London Philharmonic Society concert. The symphony's success, and Mendelssohn's popularity, influenced the course of British music for the rest of the century. However, Mendelssohn remained unsatisfied with the composition, which cost him, he said, some of the bitterest moments of his career; he revised it in 1834 and even planned to write alternate versions of the second, third, and fourth movements. He never published the symphony, and it appeared in print only in 1851; thus it is numbered as his 'Symphony No. 4', even though it was in fact the third he composed.

The piece is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani and strings. It is in four movements:

Allegro vivace (A major)
Andante con moto (D minor)
Con moto moderato (A major)
Presto and Finale: Saltarello (A minor)


The joyful first movement, in sonata form, is followed by an impression in the sub-dominant key D minor of a religious procession the composer witnessed in Naples. The third movement is a minuet in which French Horns are introduced in the trio, while the final movement (which is in the minor key throughout) incorporates dance figurations from the Roman saltarello and the Neapolitan tarantella. It is among the first large multi-movement works to begin in a major key and end in the tonic minor, another example being Brahms's first piano trio.

A typical performance lasts about half an hour.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
Felix Mendelssohn Symphony n.4 op.90 "Italiana"
 
Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto.
Direttore Carlo Goldstein.
Maggio, 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn - Symphony n°4 - NYP / Bernstein
 
Symphony n°4 op.90 "Italian"

I. Allegro vivace 0:00
II. Andante con moto 10:22
III. Con moto moderato 17:41
IV. Saltarello. Presto 23:56

New York Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein
Studio recording, New York, 1958

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn: "Reformation" Symphony n°5 op. 107 (Munch / Boston Symphony Orchestra)
 
SYMPHONY NO. 5 IN D MINOR OP. 107 "Reformation"

1. Allegro con fuoco 0:00
2. Allegro vivace 11:00
3. Andante 15:18 - attacca:
4. Andante con moto (Chorale: "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott") - Allegro vivace

BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CHARLES MUNCH
Rec. 1958

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 1 in C major
 
String Symphony No. 1 in C major (1821)

00:00 - Allegro
04:34 - Andante
08:17 - Allegro

Performed by the Northern Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Nicholas Ward.

"Mendelssohn wrote his twelve String Symphonies between 1821 and 1823. The first seven were all composed in 1821, with the eighth a year later, dated 27th November 1822, and the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth, completed in March, May, July and September 1823 respectively. A thirteenth symphony, started in December that year, was replaced by a fully orchestrated work, to become his Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 11. The string symphonies were written when Mendelssohn was a pupil of Zelter and reflect the inclinations of the teacher and Mendelssohn's own clear debt to earlier classical models, with an increasing interest in the contrapuntal practices of Bach and Handel." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 2 in D major
 
String Symphony No. 2 in D major (1821)

00:00 - Allegro
04:04 - Andante
08:13 - Allegro vivace

"Mendelssohn wrote his twelve String Symphonies between 1821 and 1823. The first seven were all composed in 1821, with the eighth a year later, dated 27th November 1822, and the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth, completed in March, May, July and September 1823 respectively. A thirteenth symphony, started in December that year, was replaced by a fully orchestrated work, to become his Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 11. The string symphonies were written when Mendelssohn was a pupil of Zelter and reflect the inclinations of the teacher and Mendelssohn's own clear debt to earlier classical models, with an increasing interest in the contrapuntal practices of Bach and Handel. This last is evident in the minor key Andante of the String Symphony No. 2 in D major, with its exploration of contrasting string textures, with a more classical use of imitative counterpoint in the final Allegro vivace." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn - String Symphony No. 3 in E minor
 
String Symphony No. 3 in E minor (1821)

00:00 - Allegro di molto
03:53 - Andante
06:44 - Allegro

"Mendelssohn wrote his twelve String Symphonies between 1821 and 1823. The first seven were all composed in 1821, with the eighth a year later, dated 27th November 1822, and the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth, completed in March, May, July and September 1823 respectively. A thirteenth symphony, started in December that year, was replaced by a fully orchestrated work, to become his Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 11. The string symphonies were written when Mendelssohn was a pupil of Zelter and reflect the inclinations of the teacher and Mendelssohn's own clear debt to earlier classical models, with an increasing interest in the contrapuntal practices of Bach and Handel. ... The third of the set, the String Symphony in E minor opens dramatically, proceeding with an increasingly contrapuntal texture. A major key Andante is in contrast, capped by a final return to the dramatic mood of the first movement." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 4 in C minor
 
String Symphony No. 4 in C minor (1821)

00:00 - Grave - Allegro
03:16 - Andante
06:00 - Allegro vivace

"Mendelssohn wrote his twelve String Symphonies between 1821 and 1823. The first seven were all composed in 1821, with the eighth a year later, dated 27th November 1822, and the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth, completed in March, May, July and September 1823 respectively. A thirteenth symphony, started in December that year, was replaced by a fully orchestrated work, to become his Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 11. The string symphonies were written when Mendelssohn was a pupil of Zelter and reflect the inclinations of the teacher and Mendelssohn's own clear debt to earlier classical models, with an increasing interest in the contrapuntal practices of Bach and Handel. ... String Symphony No. 4 in C minor starts with a slow introduction, followed by a contrapuntal Allegro. There is a more lyrical major key Andante, breaking off to become a final Allegro vivace, in which again full use is made of counterpoint." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major
 
String Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major (1821)

00:00 - Allegro vivace
04:16 - Andante
07:16 - Presto

"Mendelssohn wrote his twelve String Symphonies between 1821 and 1823. The first seven were all composed in 1821, with the eighth a year later, dated 27th November 1822, and the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth, completed in March, May, July and September 1823 respectively. A thirteenth symphony, started in December that year, was replaced by a fully orchestrated work, to become his Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 11. The string symphonies were written when Mendelssohn was a pupil of Zelter and reflect the inclinations of the teacher and Mendelssohn's own clear debt to earlier classical models, with an increasing interest in the contrapuntal practices of Bach and Handel. ... String Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, completed ten days after String Symphony No. 4, on 15th September 1821, starts with impressive unanimity in a movement in which the opening descending bass motif has continuing importance. There is a tender second movement and an energetic final Presto." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 6 in E-flat major
 
String Symphony No. 6 in E-flat major (1821)

00:00 - Allegro
03:31 - Menuetto - Trio I - Menuetto - Trio II
07:38 - Prestissimo

"Mendelssohn wrote his twelve String Symphonies between 1821 and 1823. The first seven were all composed in 1821, with the eighth a year later, dated 27th November 1822, and the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth, completed in March, May, July and September 1823 respectively. A thirteenth symphony, started in December that year, was replaced by a fully orchestrated work, to become his Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 11. The string symphonies were written when Mendelssohn was a pupil of Zelter and reflect the inclinations of the teacher and Mendelssohn's own clear debt to earlier classical models, with an increasing interest in the contrapuntal practices of Bach and Handel. ... The String Symphony No. 6 in E flat major continues Mendelssohn's explorations of the possibilities of the classical form, with a central movement that consists of a Minuet and two Trios." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 7 in D minor
 
String Symphony No. 7 in D minor (1821)

00:00 - Allegro
05:31 - Andante (amorevole)
11:03 - Menuetto
14:51 - Allegro molto

"The String Symphony No. 7 in D minor opens with a strongly marked rhythmic figure, followed by gently resolving suspensions. The opening subject lends itself to dramatic contrapuntal treatment, in a musical idiom that has now become Mendelssohn's own. The second movement is tenderly moving in its antiphonal use of instrumental groups. There is an energetic Minuet and a contrasting Trio, with an imitative opening. There is dramatic tension in the start of the rapid final Allegro molto, which finds a necessary and appropriate place for contrapuntal episodes." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 8 in D major
 
String Symphony No. 8 in D major (1822)

00:00 - Adagio e grave. Allegro
07:25 - Adagio
12:09 - Menuetto
16:53 - Allegro molto

"There is a solemn introduction to the String Symphony No. 8 in D major, the mood changing with the major Allegro, in the expected tripartite form, handled with a mature confidence worthy of Mozart. The Adagio makes use of three solo violas, cello and double bass, with dark-hued colouring that recalls the great two-viola G minor Quintet of Mozart in its sonorities. The mood is lightened by the cheerful Minuet, with its contrasting Trio. There is a Mozartian finale, providing, in its inspired fugal counterpoint, a brilliant conclusion." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 9 in C major
 
String Symphony No. 9 in C major (1823)

00:00 - Grave. Allegro
08:22 - Andante
15:12 - Scherzo and Trio (La Suisse)
18:06 - Allegro vivace

"The String Symphony No. 9 in C major opens with a sombre slow introduction, followed by a lighter-hearted Allegro, its vigorous first subject leading to a more lyrical second subject, with a contrapuntal development at the heart of the movement. The Andante again makes use of solo instruments, this time four solo violins, accompanied by two violas, cello and double bass, in music that is effective in its moving contrasted chamber-music texture. The brilliant Scherzo has a Trio inspired by a holiday in Switzerland, a yodelling song, described in the autograph score simply as La Suisse. The opening of the last movement portends drama, leading before long to the deft handling of counterpoint that is now expected." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 10 in B minor
 
String Symphony No. 10 in B minor (1823)

Adagio - Allegro

"String Symphony No. 10 in B minor survives in the form of a single movement, which may have been followed by others, now lost. It starts with a slow introduction that suggests something of Haydn. This is followed by a dramatic Allegro that has about it much of the idiom that Mendelssohn was to make his own. The first subject is in an ominous mood, followed by a lyrical second subject, material developed with all characteristic élan." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 11 in F major
 
String Symphony No. 11 in F major (1823)

00:00 - Adagio - Allegro molto
12:13 - Scherzo. Comodo (Schweizerlied)
16:06 - Adagio
23:54 - Menuetto. Allegro moderato
28:19 - Allegro molto

Performed by Nicholas Ward and the Northern Chamber Orchestra.

"String Symphony No. 11 in F major was not numbered and is a more extended work than the others, with its five movements. It starts with a solemn Adagio introduction, followed by an Allegro in which traces of Mozart or of Schubert might be detected, yet with an increasingly original voice. There is a return to the mood of the opening before the movement comes to an energetic and dramatic end. The Scherzo that follows makes use of a Swiss folk-song, an Emmental wedding-dance, a provenance that suggests the final use of percussion. This reminiscence of a holiday in Switzerland is absorbed into a more sophisticated classical musical idiom, in the manner of Haydn, until its last re-appearance. There is an Adagio of gently moving beauty and mature assurance, leading to a Minuet, a burst of energy that provides an immediate contrast, relaxing into a more lyrical Trio. The last movement includes the necessary late classical ingredient of counterpoint in its fugal writing, a Baroque legacy from which Mendelssohn had profited and which he here absorbs into an idiom increasingly his own." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 12 in G minor
 
String Symphony No. 12 in G minor (1823)

00:00 - Fuga. Grave - Allegro
04:49 - Andante
12:10 - Allegro molto

Performed by Nicholas Ward and the Northern Chamber Orchestra.

"Mendelssohn's String Symphony No. 12 in G minor starts with a slow Baroque introduction, leading to a fugue with an initially descending scale subject, to which secondary material provides a contrast. There is an intensely felt Andante and a vigorous final Allegro molto that strikes an immediate dramatic attitude. Here again there are contrapuntal episodes, contrasts of texture, as smaller groups of instruments are used in the manner of chamber music, and hints of music soon to come in the following year or two." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn / String Symphony No. 13 in C minor "Sinfoniesatz"
 
String Symphony No. 13 in C minor (1823)

Grave - Allegro molto

Performed by Nicholas Ward and the Northern Chamber Orchestra.

"The Sinfoniesatz in C minor was replaced by the subsequent Symphony No. 1 in C minor for full orchestra, written three months later and originally bearing the numbering of thirteen. The single movement work, String Symphony No. 13, starts with the dotted rhythms of a Baroque French overture. Scored for double violas, it continues with an Allegro molto fugal movement, contrasting ascending and descending thematic material." - Keith Anderson

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohns - Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor (op. 25) , Yuja Wang, Kurt Masur (Full)
 
Kurt Masur (direction) Yuja Wang (piano) Verbier Festival Orchestra
Mendelssohn piano concerto opus 25

Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor (op. 25) was written in 1830--1, around the same time as his fourth symphony ("Italian"), and premiered in Munich in October 1831. He had already written a piano concerto in A minor with string accompaniment (1822) and two concertos with two pianos (1823--4). The three connected movements —

Molto allegro con fuoco in G minor
Andante in E major
Presto—Molto allegro e vivace in G major
use several relatively new formal techniques in their brief span — for example, the piano enters very soon after the opening of the first movement, with little of an orchestral tutti to contrast with. The concerto quickly obtained popularity, and contains many sections of improvisation, one of Mendelssohn's specialities.

 
 
 
 
 
Hamelin plays Mendelssohn - Piano Concerto No. 1 Audio + Sheet music
 
elix Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, op. 25. Performed by Marc-André Hamelin and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, live in 2010.

1st mvt: 0:05
2nd mvt: 6:55
3rd mvt: 12:50

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn-Piano Concerto No. 2 in d minor Op. 40 (Complete)
 
Rudolf Serkin piano-Columbia Symphony Orchestra-Eugene Ormandy- conductor-1959
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn: Double Piano Concerto in E Major
 
At the pianos: Love Derwinger & Roland Pöntinen.
With: The Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, under the baton of Lev Markiz.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn: Double Piano Concerto in A-Flat Major
 
At the pianos: Love Derwinger & Roland Pöntinen.
With: The Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, under the baton of Lev Markiz.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn: Piano Trio 1 (d), op. 49 (Evgeny Kissin, Joshua Bell, Misha Maisky; 30.07.2009)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Felix Mendelssohn - Piano Trio No. 1
 
Performers: Beaux Arts Trio
- Year of recording: 2004

Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49 (for piano, violin, and cello) written in 1839.

00:00 - I. Molto allegro ed agitato
10:05 - II. Andante con moto tranquillo
17:54 - III. Scherzo: Leggiero e vivace
21:50 - IV. Finale: Allegro assai appassionato

The 1st Piano Trio was published in 1840 and has since been recognized as one of the composer's best chamber works (along with his Octet, Op. 20) and is one of his most popular. It is a lively, melodic piece that is satisfying to perform. After his initial work on the Trio, Op. 49, Ferdinand Hiller, a pianist and friend of Mendelssohn, suggested the composer revise the piano part to make it more brilliant. It was this piece that prompted Schumann, in a review, to assert that "Mendelssohn is the Mozart of the nineteenth century, the most illuminating of musicians...."

Without introduction, the cello states the song-like main theme of the first movement against a syncopated accompaniment in the piano. Later, the violin joins the cello with a distorted version of the theme. Variations of the theme fill the transition to the second subject, an arching melody on the dominant that is also introduced by the cello. Mendelssohn fragments and layers both themes in the development, which does not stray very far from D minor, the key on which the movement closes. In the recapitulation, Mendelssohn adds a violin counter-melody to support the return of the main theme.

The piano introduces the second movement, Andante con moto tranquilo, with the melody in the right hand and the accompaniment divided between the hands, as in a number of Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words (especially Op. 62, No. 1). Below this, the bass line in the piano walks along methodically and must be carefully balanced with the accompanimental figure and the melody. After the piano states the lyrical, eight-measure theme, the violin repeats it with a counterpoint in the cello.

Mendelssohn's Scherzo is concise and light. As in the Andante, the piano first states the main theme, which begins to reduce itself to fragments almost immediately. A rhythmic germ from the first theme permeates the movement, except in the more lyrical central section, the theme of which resembles material from the first movement.

After its first few pages, the Finale begins to sound heavy handed, largely because of the busy piano part. All types of keyboard writing occur in the movement, from close-position chords to swirling arpeggios and chromatic octaves. The cantabile moments are refreshing, as is the shift to D major shortly before the close.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Felix Mendelssohn - Piano Trio No. 2
 
Performers: Trio Wanderer
- Year of recording: 2006

Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66 (for piano, violin, and cello) written in 1845.

00:00 - I. Allegro energico e con fuoco
09:35 - II. Andante espressivo
16:03 - III. Scherzo: Molto allegro quasi presto
19:28 - IV. Finale: Allegro appassionato

The Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66, is invariably compared to its older sibling, the Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49, written six years earlier. The later work is more complex, employing themes that are less song-like and more amenable to intense development. Also, the Trio in C minor is a more detailed work that rewards repeated listening. Mendelssohn dedicated the Piano Trio in C minor to Louis Spohr (1784-1859), who played through the piece with the composer at least once.

- Marked Allegro energico e fuoco, the first movement begins with a segmented theme consisting of rising and falling arpeggios and scales. Its generic components make the theme very flexible and well suited to sonata form and to contrapuntal elaboration, which occurs frequently in the movement. The secondary theme is much more broad than the first and makes an important appearance in the coda. Harmonically, the Allegro is subdued and dark, with Mendelssohn progressing from C minor through G flat major, C flat major, and A flat minor, with occasional returns to C minor to remind us of the primary key.
- Mendelssohn cast the second movement, Andante espressivo, in the relative major, E flat. Its subdued main theme, played first in block chords in the piano, sets the tone for the whole movement.
- The G minor Scherzo resembles that of Mendelssohn's Octet, Op. 20, but is less refined. Formally, it is unusual. The Scherzo, a frenetic, although quiet, bundle of energy in G minor, gives way to a lyrical Trio in G major. After the Trio has run its course, a significantly shortened reprise of the Trio forms a link to the return of the Scherzo, which is itself abbreviated.
- C minor reappears at the beginning of the Finale, marked Allegro appassionato and in 6/8 meter. (Brahms would later quote the main theme in the Scherzo of his Piano Sonata in F minor, Op. 5.) The short, modular theme, first stated in the cello, lends itself to Beethovenian development. In the midst of the development section, Mendelssohn inserts the theme of a chorale, "Vor deinen Thron", presented almost literally and mingled with statements of the first theme. Mendelssohn was perhaps following the example of Beethoven, who uses a chorale in his Piano Sonata in C major, Op. 2, No. 3, to impart a sense of profundity. In the case of Mendelssohn, we are left to ponder the reason for this incongruous addition. When this chorale tune returns in the coda, it is given massive, symphonic treatment and is completely detached from the first theme, but very exciting and virtuosic.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 - 1844
 
 
Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, is his last large orchestral work. It forms an important part of the violin repertoire and is one of the most popular and most frequently performed violin concertos of all time. A typical performance lasts just under half an hour.

Mendelssohn originally proposed the idea of the violin concerto to Ferdinand David, a close friend and then concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Although conceived in 1838, the work took another six years to complete and was not premiered until 1845. During this time, Mendelssohn maintained a regular correspondence with David, seeking his advice with the concerto. The work itself was one of the foremost violin concertos of the Romantic era and was influential on many other composers.

Although the concerto consists of three movements in a standard fast–slow–fast structure and each movement follows a traditional form, the concerto was innovative and included many novel features for its time. Distinctive aspects include the almost immediate entrance of the violin at the beginning of the work (rather than following an orchestral preview of the first movement's major themes, as was typical in Classical-era concertos) and the through-composed form of the concerto as a whole, in which the three movements are melodically and harmonically connected and played attacca (each movement immediately following the previous one).

The concerto was well received and soon became regarded as one of the greatest violin concertos of all time. The concerto remains popular to this day and has developed a reputation as an essential concerto for all aspiring concert violinists to master, and usually one of the first Romantic era concertos they learn. Many professional violinists have recorded the concerto and the work is regularly performed in concerts and classical music competitions.

Mendelssohn also wrote a virtuoso Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra in D minor between 1821 and 1823, when he was 12 to 14 years old, at the same time that he produced his twelve string symphonies. This work was "rediscovered" in 1951 by Yehudi Menuhin.


History

Ferdinand David, the violinist who premiered the piece and whose collaboration was essential for the concerto's birth
Following his appointment in 1835 to principal conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,[6] Mendelssohn named his childhood friend Ferdinand David as the orchestra's concertmaster.[7] The work's origins derive from this professional collaboration. In a letter dated 30 July 1838, Mendelssohn wrote to David: "I should like to write a violin concerto for you next winter. One in E minor runs through my head, the beginning of which gives me no peace."

The concerto took another six years to complete. There are many possible reasons for the delay, including self-doubt, his third symphony and an unhappy period in Berlin after a request from King Frederick William IV of Prussia. Nevertheless, Mendelssohn and David kept up a regular correspondence during this time, with Mendelssohn seeking technical and compositional advice. Indeed, this violin concerto was the first of many to have been composed with the input of a professional violinist, and would influence many future collaborations. The autographed score is dated 16 September 1844, but Mendelssohn was still seeking advice from David until its premiere. The concerto was first performed in Leipzig on 13 March 1845 with Ferdinand David as soloist. Mendelssohn was unable to conduct due to illness and the premiere was conducted by the Danish composer Niels Gade. Mendelssohn first conducted the concerto on 23 October 1845 again with Ferdinand David as soloist.

Instrumentation
The work is scored for solo violin and a standard classical orchestra consisting of two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani, and strings.

Movements
The concerto consists of three movements with the following tempo markings:

Allegro molto appassionato (E minor)
Andante (C major)
Allegretto non troppo – Allegro molto vivace (E major)

Allegro molto appassionato

12 – 14 minutes

The opening of the Violin Concerto
Instead of an orchestral tutti, the concerto opens with the almost immediate entry of the solo violin, playing the very tune in E minor that gave Mendelssohn no peace. Following a bravura of rapidly ascending notes, the opening theme is then restated by the orchestra. There is then a frenetic chromatic transition passage as the music subsides and modulates into a tranquil second subject theme in G major. The melody is initially played by the woodwinds with the soloist providing a pedal note on an open G string. The tune is played by the solo violin itself before a short codetta ends the exposition section of the opening movement. The opening two themes are then combined in the development section, where the music builds up to the innovative cadenza, which Mendelssohn wrote out in full rather than allowing the soloist to improvise. The cadenza builds up speed through rhythmic shifts from quavers to quaver-triplets and finally to semiquavers, which require ricochet bowing from the soloist. This serves as a link to the recapitulation, where the opening melody is played by the orchestra, accompanied by the continuing ricochet arpeggios by the soloist. During the recapitulation, the opening themes are repeated with the second theme being played in the E major before returning to E minor for the closing of the movement. The music gathers speed into the coda, which is marked 'Presto', before a variant of the original chromatic transition passage ends the first movement.

Andante
7 – 9 minutes

The main theme of the Andante
The bassoon sustains its B from the final chord of the first movement before moving up a semitone to middle C. This serves as a key change from the E minor opening movement into the lyrical C major slow movement. The movement is in ternary form and is reminiscent of Mendelssohn's own Songs without Words. The theme to the darker, middle section in A minor is first introduced by the orchestra before the violin then takes up both the melody and the accompaniment simultaneously. The tremulous accompaniment requires nimble dexterity from the soloist before the music returns to the main lyrical C major theme, this time leading towards a serene conclusion.

Allegretto non troppo – Allegro molto vivace
6 – 7 minutes

The opening theme of the Allegro molto vivace
Following the second movement, there is a brief fourteen-bar transitional passage in E minor for solo violin and strings only. This leads into the lively and effervescent finale, the whole of which is in E major and whose opening is marked by a trumpet fanfare. This movement is in sonata rondo form with an opening theme requiring fast passage work from the soloist. The opening exposition leads into a brief second B major theme which is played by the soloist and builds to a series of rapidly ascending and descending arpeggios, reminiscent of the cadenza from the first movement. The orchestra then plays a variation of the opening melody, after which the music moves into a short development section in G major. The recapitulation is essentially similar to the exposition, apart from the addition of a counter-melody in the strings. There is almost a small cadenza near the end of the movement when the woodwinds play the main tune against prolonged trills from the solo violin. The concerto then concludes with a frenetic coda.

Analysis
The concerto is innovative in many respects. In the first movement alone, Mendelssohn departs from the typical form of a Classical concerto in many ways, the most immediate being the entry of the soloist almost from the outset, which also occurs in his First Piano Concerto. Although the first movement is mostly in sonata form, Mendelssohn has the first theme played by the solo violin and then by the orchestra. Classical concertos typically opened with an orchestral introduction followed by a version of essentially the same material that incorporates the soloist.

The cadenza is also novel in that it is written out as part of the concerto and located before the recapitulation. In a typical Classical concerto, the cadenza is improvised by the performing soloist and occurs at the end of a movement, after the recapitulation and just before the final coda.

The violin concerto stands out from previous concertos with its connected movements. There is no break between the first and second movements, with a bassoon note held between the two. The bridging passage between the last two movements begins almost immediately after the slow movement. The melody is similar to that of the opening, which hints at the cyclic form of the piece. The linking was designed to eliminate applause between movements. This would have come as a surprise to Mendelssohn's audience, who, unlike today's, were used to applauding between movements.

The concerto also calls on the soloist to be nothing more than an accompanist to the orchestra for extended periods, such as the ricochet arpeggios at the start of the recapitulation. This too was novel for a violin concerto of its time.

Legacy
Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto influenced the concertos of many other composers, who used aspects of the concerto in their own. This led to the concerto being regarded as one of the most plagiarised of all time.

For example, the unusual placement of the cadenza before the recapitulation is reflected in the violin concertos of Tchaikovsky (where the cadenza is similarly placed) and Sibelius (where the cadenza serves to extend the development section). Moreover, following this concerto it was very rare for a composer to leave a cadenza unwritten, for the soloist to improvise, as in the days of Mozart and Beethoven. The linking of the three movements also influenced other concertos, such as Liszt's Second Piano Concerto.

The concerto itself was an instant success, warmly received at its premiere and well received by contemporary critics. By the end of the nineteenth century, the piece was already considered one of the greatest violin concertos in the repertoire. It would become one of Mendelssohn's most popular pieces, and was still regularly performed, even when interest in his music declined in the early twentieth century. In 1906, the year before his death, celebrated violinist Joseph Joachim told the guests at his 75th birthday party:

The Germans have four violin concertos. The greatest, most uncompromising is Beethoven's. The one by Brahms vies with it in seriousness. The richest, the most seductive, was written by Max Bruch. But the most inward, the heart's jewel, is Mendelssohn's.

The work has developed a reputation as an essential work for all aspiring violin virtuosi to conquer. This has led to the concerto becoming virtually ubiquitous in the discography of concert violinists, even including those who were only active at the very dawn of recorded sound and of whom very little recorded music exists, such as Eugène Ysaÿe. Even so, the concerto is still technically challenging and is generally considered to be as difficult as many other famous counterparts.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
 
Anne Sophie-Mutter - Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64 - Kurt Masur
 
I. Allegro molto appassionato (00:00)
II. Andante (12:29)
III. Allegretto non troppo -- Allegro molto vivace (19:49)

Anne Sophie-Mutter, violin
Kurt Masur, conductor
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto E minor, Yehudi Menuhin , Antal Dorati
 
Yehudi Menuhin, violin
Antal Dorati, conductor
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto (Heifetz)
 
Jascha Heifetz, violinist
Sir Thomas Beecham, Royal Philharmonic
Recorded June 10, 1949
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Felix Mendelssohn - Octet
 
Performers: Jascha Heifetz (Violin), Arnold Belnick (Violin), Israel Baker (Violin), Joseph Stepansky (Violin), Gabor Rejto (Cello), Virginia Majewski (Viola), Gregor Piatigorsky (Cello), William Primrose (Viola)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Felix Mendelssohn - Violin Sonata in F minor, Op. 4
 
Performers: Shlomo Mintz (violin), Paul Ostrovsky (piano)
- Year of recording: 1986

Sonata for Violin & Piano in F minor, Op. 4, written in 1823.

00:00 - I. Adagio - Allegro moderato
10:25 - II. Poco adagio
19:10 - III. Allegro agitato

For many decades Felix Mendelssohn was thought to have authored only one violin sonata: the Sonata for violin and piano in F minor, Op. 4. And, although two further sonatas for violin-piano duo came to light during the latter half of the twentieth century, neither of them has been able to steal the limelight from Opus 4 as his most popular work in the genre, even if some Mendelssohn-lovers feel that one of the other two, the 1838 F major Sonata, is more deserving of that distinction. Mendelssohn composed the Opus 4 sonata in 1823, when he was in his mid-teens. It is a solidly built three-movement piece with more than a hint of Beethovenian minor-mode storminess to it; yet the passion does not obscure Mendelssohn's clear eighteenth-century formal lines and genteel musical manners.

- The first movement of the sonata begins with a slow, nine-measure quasi-recitative for the violin, unaccompanied. When the piano finds its way into the piece after an unsettled half cadence, the tempo suddenly shifts gears up to Allegro moderato, and there it remains for the rest of the movement. This opening movement is textbook sonata allegro stuff, with an anxious first subject and a dreamy second subject that unfolds over a long pedal point.
- The middle movement is a lightly ornamented and substantial Poco Adagio in velveteen A flat major.
- The finale, on the other hand, hustles and bustles its way around an Allegro agitato, 6/8 time F minor; its final measures are ushered in by a quasi-cadenza for solo violin [here a bit truncated by Mintz], quite like the one that began the sonata, and it seems as though the movement will end with an explosion of fortissimo chords. But Mendelssohn, always elusive, throws a pianissimo curve ball instead...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wedding March - Felix Mendelssohn
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Felix Mendelssohn - A Midsummer's Night Dream (1842) - Scherzo & Song - "You spotted snakes"
 
Mendelssohn's incidental music for "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Op. 61, was completed 16 years after he wrote the Overture, Op. 21, though the consistency of style and musical unity between them belie the disparate dates of composition, with the former composed by an incredibly musically gifted youth of 17, the latter - by the music director of Prussia's King Friedrich Wilhelm IV's Academy of the Arts and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" had always been a favorite of Felix and his sister, Fanny, which accounts for the composition of the overture. The commission for the remaining music came from the King, for a Potsdam production of the play. The incidental music consists of 14 sections, including the overture itself, set both as vocal pieces and instrumental movements. The music combines the traditional forms and structures of classical music with the feeling and expression of the Romantic era. I've chosen three selections from the opus that quickly caught my mind: the Scherzo, the song with chorus, "You spotted snakes", and the Notturno.

I. The Scherzo appropriately introduces the fairy-world of Act Two with delightful rapid, running passages in the woodwinds, similar to the string passage in the opening of the overture. The rest of the orchestra joins the woodwinds in a classical sonata-form movement. Several small motives are repeated, up and down, then down and up the scale, to form the development section.

II. The song with chorus, accompanied by a string bass line and murmuring of the winds to suggest the buzzing of the critters, comes at a logical place in the play, as the fairies chase away "beetles, hedgehogs and snakes" to prevent them from disturbing Titania's rest. The song is classically cast in two couplets, each sung by one of the two soloists-fairies (originally two sopranos, here - a soprano and a mezzo-soprano) with the repeat turning into a delightful echo duettino, ending with a lighthearted refrain of delightful proportions.

Judith Blegen and Florence Quivar, both congenial to the parts of the fairies, are accompanied to great effect by James Levine, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Chorus in an unusual English version of the score.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Felix Mendelssohn : The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) - Overture
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
St. Paul - 1836
 
St. Paul (in German Paulus), Op. 36, is an oratorio by Felix Mendelssohn.

Background

The libretto was begun in 1832 by the composer with Pastor Julius Schubring, a childhood friend, pulling together passages from the New Testament (chiefly the Acts of the Apostles) and Old Testament. It also features chorales or hymn settings after Bach's manner.

Composition of the music began in 1834, and the work was premiered on May 22, 1836 at the Lower Rhenish Music Festival in Düsseldorf. The English premiere was in Liverpool on October 3, 1836 in a translation by Mendelssohn's friend, Karl Klingermann. Contralto Mary Shaw was one of the soloists at the English premiere. The first performance in the United States was in Boston on March 14, 1837. Mendelssohn himself conducted the first performance in Leipzig in the Paulinerkirche on March 16, 1837. Numerous performances followed in Europe and in the United States.

During Mendelssohn's lifetime, St. Paul was a popular and frequently performed work. However, compared with such oratorios as Handel's Messiah, Bach's Christmas Oratorio and St Matthew Passion or even Mendelssohn's own Elijah, it has failed to maintain its place in the choral repertory and is now infrequently performed in its entirety.

Instrumentation
Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Bass
Mixed and women's choruses
2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, serpent (a predecessor of the ophicleide now usually replaced by a tuba), contrabassoon, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones (alto, tenor and bass), timpani, strings, and organ

Structure

The oratorio, which is in two parts, begins with an introduction (Nos. 1-3), and continues with the martyrdom of St. Stephen, and St Paul's conversion and baptism (Nos. 12-22). Part Two continues with the mission of Paul and Barnabas (Nos. 23-27), Paul's persecution at the hands of his former co-religionists (Nos. 28-31), the healing of the lame man of Lystra (Nos. 32-36), the resistance of the Jews and heathen (Nos. 37-40), Paul's departure from Ephesus (Nos. 41-43), and following the mention of his martyrdom, a final chorus based on Psalm 103.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Paulus op.36 aus dem Katharinensaal der HMT-Rostock
 
Paulus op.36 - Oratorium nach Worten der Heiligen Schrift
Konzertmitschnitt vom 28.Januar 2013 aus dem Katharinensaal der HMT-Rostock
Grzegorz Sobczak - Paulus, Emanuel Jessel - Stephanus, Philipp Franke - Rezitative, Claudia Roick - Sopran, Hitomi Kawai - Alt, Karo Khachatryan - Tenor, Yuji Natsume - Bassbariton, Yuji Natsume - Bass
Hochschulchor, Kammerchor "Vocalisti Rostochiensés", Chor des Goethegymnasiums Schwerin, Orchester der HMT-Rostock, Solo-Cello: Beatrice Holzer-Graf
Chor-Einstudierung: Dagmar Gatz, Bernd Spitzbarth
Gesamtleitung: Christfried Göckeritz
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Felix Mendelssohn - The 5 Psalm Cantatas, for mixed choir, solists and orchestra
 
Of all the nearly forgotten music by Mendelssohn, the most nearly completely forgotten is his music for chorus. Only his songs come close to being as almost entirely ignored, but because a few of them have earned a place in the recital hall, even they have a more prominent place in the repertoire. The performances are uniformly excellent. The Choir has a smooth tone and superb diction and Matt elicits from them polished balanced and ardent interpretations. Despite the dearth of comparisons, these performances with their clean textures, light tempos, and devout tone are surely as close to definitive as is possible to imagine. For some listeners, of course, this may not be enough to redeem Mendelssohn's heartfelt yet stolid music from obscurity. For others with more open minds, however, this set may serve to introduce a body of sacred works that certainly exceeds any other similar body of works from the same period in terms of skill and sincerity. Though a bit recessed, Brilliant's digital sound is cool and clear.

Lydia Allert Soprano (Vocal)
Amadeus-Chor Choir/Chorus
Anja Bittner Soprano (Vocal)
Manfred Bittner Bass (Vocal)
Chamber Choir of Europe Choir/Chorus
Alice Duskova Organ
Christof Fischesser Bass (Vocal)
Reinhard Geller Engineer, Producer
Heike Heilmann Soprano (Vocal)
Gerhard Hölzle Tenor (Vocal)
Nathalie Karl Soprano (Vocal)
Annemarie Kremer Soprano (Vocal)
Petra Labitzke Soprano (Vocal)
Alena Leja Soprano (Vocal)
Nicol Matt Conductor, Primary Artist
Birgit Meyer Alto (Vocals)
Eibe Möhlmann Alto (Vocals)
Róbert Morvai Tenor (Vocal)
Isabelle Müller-Kant Soprano (Vocal)
Gerhard Nennemann Tenor (Vocal)
Philip Niederberger Bass (Vocal)
Daniel Sans Tenor (Vocal)
Wilhelm Schwinghammer Bass (Vocal)
Raimonds Spogis Baritone (Vocal)
Stephen Taylor Liner Note Translation
Birgit Wegemann Soprano (Vocal)
Barbara Werner Alto (Vocals)
Christian Wildhagen Liner Notes
Gabriele Wunderer Alto (Vocals)
Wurttembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen Orchestra

Psalm 42 ("As pants the hart"), for soloists, chorus & orchestra in F major, Op. 42
1
Coro
2
Aria
3
Recitativo / Arie
4
Coro
5
Recitativo
6
Quintetto
7
Schlusschor
Psalm 95 ("Come Let us Sing"), for tenor, chorus & orchestra in E flat major, Op. 46
8
Coro
9
Coro
10
Duetto
11
Coro
12
Coro
Psalm 98 ("Sing to the Lord"), for soloists, chorus, orchestra & organ in D major, Op. 91
13
Allegro
14
Andante lento
15
Andante con moto
16
Allegro

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Felix Mendelssohn - Choral Works - Hora Est-Te Deum-Ave Maria
 
1 Hora est, for 16 voices & organ in G minor/A major

2 Te Deum for soloists, chorus & organ in A major (Morning Service)

3 Ave Maria, sacred piece for soloists, chorus & continuo in A major, Op. 23/2

Te Deum for soloists, double chorus & continuo in D major

4 Te Deum laudamus

5 Te aeternum patrem

6 Tibi omnes angeli

7 Tibi cherubim

8 Te gloriosus

9 Patrem immensae

10 Tu rex gloriae

11 Te ergo quaesumus

12 Salvum fac populum

13 Per singulos

14 Dignare

15 Fiat misericordia

Of all the nearly forgotten music by Mendelssohn, the most nearly completely forgotten is his music for chorus. Only his songs come close to being as almost entirely ignored, but because a few of them have earned a place in the recital hall, even they have a more prominent place in the repertoire. This 10-disc Brilliant set of Mendelssohn's complete choral works featuring the Chamber Choir of Europe under Nicol Matt addresses this problem even though it may not solve it. The performances are uniformly excellent. The Choir has a smooth tone and superb diction and Matt elicits from them polished balanced and ardent interpretations. Despite the dearth of comparisons, these performances with their clean textures, light tempos, and devout tone are surely as close to definitive as is possible to imagine. For some listeners, of course, this may not be enough to redeem Mendelssohn's heartfelt yet stolid music from obscurity. For others with more open minds, however, this set may serve to introduce a body of sacred works that certainly exceeds any other similar body of works from the same period in terms of skill and sincerity. Though a bit recessed, Brilliant's digital sound is cool and clear.

Lydia Allert Soprano (Vocal)
Amadeus-Chor Choir/Chorus
Anja Bittner Soprano (Vocal)
Manfred Bittner Bass (Vocal)
Chamber Choir of Europe Choir/Chorus
Alice Duskova Organ
Christof Fischesser Bass (Vocal)
Reinhard Geller Engineer, Producer
Heike Heilmann Soprano (Vocal)
Gerhard Hölzle Tenor (Vocal)
Nathalie Karl Soprano (Vocal)
Annemarie Kremer Soprano (Vocal)
Petra Labitzke Soprano (Vocal)
Alena Leja Soprano (Vocal)
Nicol Matt Conductor, Primary Artist
Birgit Meyer Alto (Vocals)
Eibe Möhlmann Alto (Vocals)
Róbert Morvai Tenor (Vocal)
Isabelle Müller-Kant Soprano (Vocal)
Gerhard Nennemann Tenor (Vocal)
Philip Niederberger Bass (Vocal)
Daniel Sans Tenor (Vocal)
Wilhelm Schwinghammer Bass (Vocal)
Raimonds Spogis Baritone (Vocal)
Birgit Wegemann Soprano (Vocal)
Barbara Werner Alto (Vocals)
Gabriele Wunderer Alto (Vocals)
Wurttembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen Orchestra

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Felix Mendelssohn - Hymne Op. 96, Lauda Sion Op. 73
 
Hymn for alto, chorus & orchestra or organ in E flat major, Op. 96
1
Hymne: Lass, o Herr, mich Hilfe finden
Felix Mendelssohn
Nicol Matt 4:21
2
Choral: Deines Kind's Gebet erhöre
Felix Mendelssohn
Nicol Matt 1:46
3
Herr, wir trau'n auf deine Güte
Felix Mendelssohn
Nicol Matt 3:35
4
Fuga: Lasst sein heilig Lob uns singen
Felix Mendelssohn
Nicol Matt 3:47
5
Hear My Prayer ("O for the wings of a dove"), hymn for soprano, chorus & organ or orchestra in G major
Felix Mendelssohn
Nicol Matt 10:44
6
Kyrie for chorus & orchestra in D minor

Lauda Sion, for soloists, chorus & orchestra, Op. 73

1. Coro

2. Coro

3. Soprano solo e Coro

4. Quartetto

5. Coro

6. Coro

7. Soprano Solo

8. Soli e Coro

9. Ecce panis

Tu es Petrus, for 5 voices & orchestra in A major, Op. 111

Of all the nearly forgotten music by Mendelssohn, the most nearly completely forgotten is his music for chorus. Only his songs come close to being as almost entirely ignored, but because a few of them have earned a place in the recital hall, even they have a more prominent place in the repertoire. This 10-disc Brilliant set of Mendelssohn's complete choral works featuring the Chamber Choir of Europe under Nicol Matt addresses this problem even though it may not solve it. The performances are uniformly excellent. The Choir has a smooth tone and superb diction and Matt elicits from them polished balanced and ardent interpretations. Despite the dearth of comparisons, these performances with their clean textures, light tempos, and devout tone are surely as close to definitive as is possible to imagine. For some listeners, of course, this may not be enough to redeem Mendelssohn's heartfelt yet stolid music from obscurity. For others with more open minds, however, this set may serve to introduce a body of sacred works that certainly exceeds any other similar body of works from the same period in terms of skill and sincerity. Though a bit recessed, Brilliant's digital sound is cool and clear.

Lydia Allert Soprano (Vocal)
Amadeus-Chor Choir/Chorus
Anja Bittner Soprano (Vocal)
Manfred Bittner Bass (Vocal)
Chamber Choir of Europe Choir/Chorus
Alice Duskova Organ
Christof Fischesser Bass (Vocal)
Reinhard Geller Engineer, Producer
Heike Heilmann Soprano (Vocal)
Gerhard Hölzle Tenor (Vocal)
Nathalie Karl Soprano (Vocal)
Annemarie Kremer Soprano (Vocal)
Petra Labitzke Soprano (Vocal)
Alena Leja Soprano (Vocal)
Nicol Matt Conductor, Primary Artist
Birgit Meyer Alto (Vocals)
Eibe Möhlmann Alto (Vocals)
Róbert Morvai Tenor (Vocal)
Isabelle Müller-Kant Soprano (Vocal)
Gerhard Nennemann Tenor (Vocal)
Philip Niederberger Bass (Vocal)
Daniel Sans Tenor (Vocal)
Wilhelm Schwinghammer Bass (Vocal)
Raimonds Spogis Baritone (Vocal)
Birgit Wegemann Soprano (Vocal)
Barbara Werner Alto (Vocals)
Gabriele Wunderer Alto (Vocals)
Wurttembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen Orchestra

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elijah - 1846
 
 
Elijah (German: Elias), Op. 70 MWV A 25, is an oratorio written by Felix Mendelssohn. It premiered in 1846 at the Birmingham Festival. It depicts events in the life of the Biblical prophet Elijah, taken from the books 1 Kings and 2 Kings of the Old Testament.


Music and its style

This piece was composed in the spirit of Mendelssohn's Baroque predecessors Bach and Handel, whose music he loved. In 1829 Mendelssohn had organized the first performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion since the composer's death and was instrumental in bringing this and other Bach works to widespread popularity. By contrast, Handel's oratorios never went out of fashion in England. Mendelssohn prepared a scholarly edition of some of Handel's oratorios for publication in London. Elijah is modelled on the oratorios of these two Baroque masters; however, in its lyricism and use of orchestral and choral colour the style clearly reflects Mendelssohn's own genius as an early Romantic composer.

The work is scored for four vocal soloists (bass-baritone, tenor, alto, soprano), full symphony orchestra including trombones, ophicleide, organ, and a large chorus singing usually in four, but occasionally eight or three (women only) parts. The title role is for bass-baritone and was sung at the premiere by the Austrian bass Joseph Staudigl.

Mendelssohn had discussed an oratorio based on Elijah in the late 1830s with his friend Karl Klingemann, who had provided him with the libretto for his comic operetta Die Heimkehr aus der Fremde, which resulted in a partial text that Klingemann was unable to finish. Mendelssohn then turned to Julius Schubring, the librettist for his earlier oratorio St. Paul, who quickly abandoned Klingemann's work and produced his own text that combined the story of Elijah as told in the Book of Kings with Psalms. In 1845, the Birmingham Festival commissioned an oratorio from Mendelssohn, who worked with Schubring to put the text in final form and in 1845 and 1846 composed his oratorio to the German text. He had it promptly translated into English by William Bartholomew, who was not only a poet but a composer who could work with the score as he translated. The oratorio premiered in its English version. The German version premiered on the composer's birthday, February 3, 1848, in Leipzig a few months after Mendelssohn's death, conducted by Niels Wilhelm Gade.

Biblical narrative
Mendelssohn uses these Biblical episodes relating to Elijah, which in the original are narrated in rather laconic form, to produce intensely dramatic scenes. These were doubtless well fitted to the taste of Mendelssohn's time, and a Victorian sentimentality also seems detectable in places. Among the episodes are the resurrection of a dead youth, the bringing of rain to parched Israel through Elijah's prayers and the bodily ascension of Elijah on a fiery chariot into heaven. Perhaps the most dramatic episode is the contest of the gods, in which Jehovah consumes an offered sacrifice in a column of fire after a failed sequence of frantic prayers by the prophets of the god Baal.

Reception
Elijah was popular at its premiere and has been frequently performed, particularly in English-speaking countries, ever since. It is a particular favourite of amateur choral societies. Its melodrama, easy appeal and stirring choruses have provided the basis for countless successful performances. Prince Albert inscribed a libretto for the oratorio Elijah in 1847: "To the noble artist who, surrounded by the Baal-worship of false art, has been able, like a second Elijah, through genius and study, to remain true to the service of true art." A number of critics, including Bernard Shaw, have treated the work harshly, emphasizing its conventional outlook and undaring musical style:

I sat out the performance on Wednesday to the last note, an act of professional devotion which was no part of my plan for the evening ... You have only to think of Parsifal, of the Ninth Symphony, of Die Zauberflöte, of the inspired moments of Bach and Handel, to see the great gulf that lies between the true religious sentiment and our delight in Mendelssohn's exquisite prettiness.
Its popularity has changed over the years. After Boston's Handel and Haydn Society presented the work for the first time in February 1848, its success resulted in eight more performances that spring. In the mid-1920s, however, H.T. Parker, the city's principal music critic, described how members of the audience gazed upward at a recent performance: "How many of those eyes were there in rapture, or were counting the four dead lights in the central sunburst of the ceiling?.... Elijah is hopelessly, awfully, irremediably mid-Victorian.

Mendelssohn wrote the soprano part in Elijah for the 'Swedish Nightingale', Jenny Lind. Lind was devastated by the composer's premature death in 1847. She did not feel able to sing the part for a year afterwards. She resumed singing the piece at Exeter Hall in London in late 1848, raising £1,000 to fund a scholarship in his name. After Arthur Sullivan became the first recipient of the Mendelssohn Scholarship, she encouraged him in his career.

Charles Salaman adapted "He that Shall Endure to the End" from Elijah as a setting for Psalm 93 (Adonai Malakh), sung on most Friday nights at the sabbath-eve service of the London Spanish & Portuguese Jewish community.[citation needed]

In Willa Cather's 1935 novel Lucy Gayheart, two characters rehearse an air from Elijah with the text altered to create ambiguity between the search for divine and romantic love: "If with all your heart you truly seek him".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
Sections
The work opens with a declamation by Elijah, after which the overture is played. The sections in the score are as follows:
 

Part I

  • Introduction: As God the Lord of Israel liveth (Elijah) – Overture
    So wahr der Herr, der Gott Israels lebet
  • 1. Help, Lord! (chorus)
    Hilf, Herr!
  • 2. Lord! bow thine ear to our prayer! (chorus, soprano, alto)
    Herr, höre unser Gebet!
  • 3. Ye people, rend your hearts (Obadiah)
    Zerreißet eure Herzen
  • 4. If with all your hearts (Obadiah)
    So ihr mich von ganzem Herzen suchet
  • 5. Yet doth the Lord see it not (chorus)
    Aber der Herr sieht es nicht
  • 6. Elijah! get thee hence (Angel I)
    Elias, gehe von hinnen
  • 7. For he shall give his angels (quartet)
    Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen
  • 7A. Now Cherith's brook is dried up (Angel I)
    Nun auch der Bach vertrocknet ist
  • 8. What have I to do with thee? (Widow, Elijah)
    Was hast du mir getan
  • 9. Blessed are the men who fear him (chorus)
    Wohl dem, der den Herrn fürchtet
  • 10. As God the Lord of Sabaoth liveth (Elijah, Ahab, chorus)
    So wahr der Herr Zebaoth lebet
  • 11. Baal, we cry to thee; hear and answer us! (chorus)
    Baal erhöre uns!
  • 12. Call him louder, for he is a god! (Elijah, chorus)
    Rufet lauter! Denn er ist ja Gott!
  • 13. Call him louder! he heareth not! (Elijah, chorus)
    Rufel lauter! Er hört euch nicht.
  • 14. Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel! (Elijah)
    Herr, Gott Abrahams, Isaaks und Israels
  • 15. Cast thy burden upon the Lord (quartet)
    Wirf dein Anliegen auf den Herrn
  • 16. O thou, who makest thine angels spirits (Elijah, chorus)
    Der du deine Diener machst zu Geistern
  • 17. Is not his word like a fire? (Elijah)
    Ist nicht des Herrn Wort wie ein Feuer
  • 18. Woe unto them who forsake him! (alto)
    Weh ihnen, dass sie von mir weichen!
  • 19. O man of God, help thy people! (Obadiah, Elijah, chorus, Youth)
    Hilf deinem Volk, du Mann Gottes!
  • 19A. O Lord, thou hast overthrown thine enemies (Elijah, chorus)
    O Herr, du hast nun deine Feinde verworfen
  • 20. Thanks be to God (chorus)
    Dank sei dir, Gott
 
 

Part II

  • 21. Hear ye, Israel (soprano)
    Höre, Israel
  • 22. Be not afraid, saith God the Lord (chorus)
    Fürchte dich nicht, spricht unser Gott
  • 23. The Lord hath exalted thee (Elijah, Queen, chorus)
    Der Herr hat dich erhoben
  • 24. Woe to him, he shall perish (chorus)
    Wehe ihm, er muss sterben!
  • 25. Man of God, now let my words be precious (Obadiah, Elijah)
    Du Mann Gottes, laß meine Rede etwas vor dir gelten
  • 26. It is enough; Lord take my life (Elijah)
    Es ist genug, so nimm nun, Herr, meine Seele
  • 27. See, now he sleepeth (tenor)
    Siehe, er schläft
  • 28. Lift thine eyes, lift thine eyes (chorus)
    Hebe deine Augen auf zu den Bergen
  • 29. He, watching over Israel, slumbers not (chorus)
    Siehe, der Hüter Israels schläft noch schlummert nicht
  • 30. Arise, Elijah, for thou hast a long journey (Angel I, Elijah)
    Stehe auf, Elias, denn du hast einen großen Weg vor dir
  • 31. O rest in the Lord (Angel I)
    Sei stille dem Herrn
  • 32. He that shall endure to the end, shall be saved (chorus)
    Wer bis an das Ende beharrt
  • 33. Night falleth round me, Lord! (Elijah, Angel II)
    Herr, es wird Nacht um mich
  • 34. Behold! God the Lord passeth by! (chorus)
    Der Herr ging vorüber
  • 35. Above him stood the Seraphim (alto); Holy is God the Lord (chorus)
    Seraphim standen über ihm; Heilig ist Gott der Herr
  • 36. Go, return upon thy way! (chorus) I go on my way (Elijah)
    Gehe wiederum hinab! Ich gehe hinab
  • 37. For the mountains shall depart (Elijah)
    Ja, es sollen wohl die Berge weichen
  • 38. Then did Elijah the prophet break forth (chorus)
    Und der Prophet Elias brach hervor
  • 39. Then shall the righteous shine forth (tenor)
    Dann werden die Gerechten leuchten
  • 40. Behold, God hath sent Elijah (soprano)
    Darum ward gesendet der Prophet Elias
  • 41. But the Lord, from the north hath raised one (chorus)
    Aber einer erwacht von Mitternacht
  • 41A. O come everyone that thirsteth (quartet)
    Wohlan, alle, die ihr durstig seid
  • 42. And then shall your light break forth (chorus)
    Alsdann wird euer Licht hervorbrechen
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn: Elijah (Elias, Part I) by Thomas Hampson, Barbara Bonney, Florence Quivar
 
Elijah (sung in English) -Elias, an Oratorio after words from the Old Testamnt, Op. 70.

1. Thomas Hampson, baritone (Elijah)
2. Barbara Bonney , soprano (The Widow)
3. Henriette Schellenberg, soprano (Angel)
4. Florence Quivar, mezzo-soprano (Angel)
5. Marietta Simpson, mezzo-soprano (The Queen)
6. Jerry Hadley, tenor (Obadiah)
7. Richard Clement, tenor (Ahab)
8. Thomas Paul, baritone
9. Reid Bartelme, boy soprano (The Youth)

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Ann Howard Jones, assistant conductor for choruses
Conducted by Robert Shaw
1994
_
Part I
0:00 Introduction (Elijah) - As God of Israel liveth
0:57 Ouverture
4:28 Chorus - Help Lord
7:50 Quartet Recit. - The deep affords no water (3,5,7,8)
8:48 Duet with chorus - Zion spreadeth her hands for aid (3,5)
10:56 Recit (Obadiah) - If with all your hearts
Chorus - Yet doth the Lord see it not
19:00 Recit (Angel) - Elijah! get thee hence (Florence Quivar)
19:55 Double quartet -For He shall give His angels (2,3,4,5,6,7,8,)
23:04 Recit (Angel): Now Cherith's book is dried up (Florence Quivar)
24:22 Air (Bonney): What have I to do with thee - Recit (Elijah, Widow) Give me thy son!
13. 9. Chorus - 'Blessed Are All They That Fear Him'
14. 10 Recitative (Elijah, Ahab) With Chorus - 'As God The Lord Of Sabaoth Liveth'
15. 11. Chorus - 'Baal, Answer Us'
16. 12. Recitative (Elijah) And Chorus - 'Call Him Louder, For He Is A God!'
17. 13. Recitative (Elijah) And Chorus - 'Call Him Louder! He Heareth Not'
18. 14. Air (Elijah) - 'Lord God Of Abraham, Isaac And Israel'
19. 15. Quartet (Angels) - 'Cast Thy Burden Upon The Lord'
20. 16. Recitative (Elijah) And Chorus - 'O Thou, Who Makest Thine Angels Spirits'
21. 17. Air (Elijah) - 'Is Not His Word Like A Fire?'
22. 18. Air - 'Woe Unto Them Who Forsake Him!'
23. 19. Recitative (Obadiah, Elijah, Youth) And Chorus - 'O Man Of God, Help Thy People!'
24. 20. Chorus - 'Thanks Be To God!'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mendelssohn: Elijah (Elias, Part II ) Thomas Hampson, Barbara Bonney, Florence Quivar
 
Elijah (sung in English) -Elias, an Oratorio after words from the Old Testament, Op. 70.

1. Thomas Hampson, baritone (Elijah)
2. Barbara Bonney , soprano (The Widow)
3. Henriette Schellenberg, soprano (Angel)
4. Florence Quivar, mezzo-soprano (Angel)
5. Marietta Simpson, mezzo-soprano (The Queen)
6. Jerry Hadley, tenor (Obadiah)
7. Richard Clement, tenor (Ahab)
8. Thomas Paul, baritone
9. Reid Bartelme, boy soprano (The Youth)

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Ann Howard Jones, assistant conductor for choruses
Conducted by Robert Shaw
1994
_
Part II
Air: Hear ye, Israel! (Barbara Bonney)
Chorus: Be not affraid
Recit (Elijah, Queen) and chorus: The Lord hath exalted thee
Chorus - Woe to him
Recit (Obadiah, Elijah) Man of Godnow let my words be precious
Air (Thomas Hampson): It is enough, O Lord
Recit (Richard Clement) See, now he sleepeth
Trio of Angels (Bonney, Schellenberg,Simpson): Lift thine eyes
Chorus: He, watching over Israel
Recit (Angel, Elijah): Arise, Elijah (Florence Quivar)
Air (Angel): O rest in the Lord (Florence Quivar)
Chorus: He that shall endure to the end
Recit (Elijah, Angel): Night falleth 'round me (Henriette Schellenberg)
Chorus: Behold, God the Lord passed by!
Recit, Quartet & Chorus: Above himstood the seraphim (5,2,3,4)
Chorus: Go, return upon thy way - and recit (Elijah) I go on my way
Arioso (Thomas Hampson): For the mountains shall depart
Chorus: Thus did Elijah the prophet break forth
Air (Jerry Hadley): Then shall the righteous shine forth
Recit: For Godsent his people the prophet Elijah (Barbara Bonney)
Chorus: Thus saith the Lord
Quartet: O come, everyone that thirsteth (3,5,7,8)
Chorus: And then shall your light break forth

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
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