Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix
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Mendelssohn, (1845) by Eduard Magnus, Stadtgeschichtliches Museum, Leipzig

Born: 3 February 1809, Hamburg, Germany
Died: 4 November 1847, Leipzig, Germany

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix

A German composer of Jewish descent, among the most significant composers of Romanticism. He came from a famous and rich family, grandson to a well-known philosopher, and a man who wrote at the age of 17 the overture "A Midsummer Night's Dream"A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61 - Mendelssohn'Wedding March' - Mendelssohn, one of his famous works and among the important pieces of the Romantic period. The musical interpretation he gave Shakespeare's play, and the perfect orchestration made him to be the big promise of the music world. 17 years later he added, to this overture, the rest of the piece's movements. The 16-year-old Mendelssohn also wrote the Octet for Strings Opus 20 in E flatOctet for Strings Opus 20 in E flat - Mendelssohn, one of the most important works for this kind.

At 20 years old, he conducted Bach's "St. Matthew Passion", for the first time since the composer's demise, and ever since continued to distribute and publish Bach's works and revive his nearly forgotten musical heritage. He became a highly sought after conductor and was famous for his meticulousness and seriousness in preparing the orchestra.

He was also famous as a pianist and an organist, yet most of all, revered for his works, among which are the oratorios "St. Paul" and "Elijah". His Violin Concerto in E minorViolin Concerto in E minor - MendelssohnViolin Concerto in E minor - Mendelssohn, the "Scottish" Symphony (both inspired by his visit to Scotland) and his "Italian" Symphony are still very popular. Mendelssohn wrote concert overtures (namely, not designated to open a play or an opera) as independent works (the "Fingal Cave" overture), thus foretelling Liszt's "symphonic poems" and the "programme music", that so many Romantic composers wrote throughout the 19th century. However, unlike them, he usually preferred musical structure over tonal color, which was typical of Classic composition. Although his manner is often Romantic, his style was formed by Palestrina, Handel and Bach. Therefore, he and Brahms were considered the "classical" composers of the 19th Century.

He died at only 38 years of age. Schumann said about him, that Europe lost Beethoven's successor.

Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64 (part 1 of 4. Solo: Kyung-Wha Chung)

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