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As Heard On BACH Archives for 2014-02

MENDELSSOHN'S BIRTHDAY


February 3 (1809) is the birthdate of composer Felix Mendelssohn.  Mendelssohn is another that started young....he began taking piano lessons at six and is said to have performed in public for the first time at age nine.  Like Mozart and Schubert, whose birthdates we recently observed, Mendelssohn only lived into his 30s.  And he was certainly more than just a composer!  He was a pianist, organist and conductor, and is credited with the rediscovery of Bach's music.  Hard to imagine there was a time when J.S. Bach's music was almost unknown, but that was true by the time Mendelssohn had come along.  Ironically, Mendelssohn's music went the same route for a time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but he is now considered one of the great composers of the so-called Romantic era.  Below are a few interesting links which will help you to learn more about Felix Mendelssohn:

The Wikipedia article about Mendelssohn.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica article, including some audio and video clips.

Of all places, the Library of Congress holds many of Mendelssohn's manuscripts.  For whatever reason, the site hasn't been updated for some time, but it's still an interesting place to visit. 

Here's a Mendelssohn site for younger listeners and those home-schooling their children:

Mendelssohn directed the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig for many years.  That orchestra is still thriving, and our link is to its English site.  You'll have to poke around a bit to find info on Mendelssohn's years there.

 

By Scott Hooper

February, 2014


 

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