Mendelssohn's wife, Cecile formerly Jeanrenaud was the daughter of a French Protestant clergyman. She was known to be a pious believer and a womenaof prayer Marek, The Bible was an important part of Mendelssohn's life. It provided much of the inspiration for his work.
Whenever he had to set a piece of scripture to music, he was always "painstakingly precise about the wording Ja cob, One of Mendelssohn's close friends said the following about him. Mendelssohn did not like the text to be altered and when it was he said "I Have time after time had to restore the precise text of the Bible.
It is the best in the end Alexander, Paul Oratio back to top The St. Paul Oratorio , the first of Mendelssohn's two oratorio's, was begun in Dusseldorf and finished in Leipzig in the winter of The libretto was a joint compilation between Furst and Schubring with consultation with Mendelssohn. The Oratorio itself consists of three major themes.
These are the martyrdom of Stephen, the conversion of Paul, and the apostle's subsequent career. The work was written by a commission from the Cecilien Verein of Frankfort in , but was not performed until at the Lower Rhine Festival at Dusseldorf. The first half of this work begins after a long and expressive overture for orchestra and organ. The first part opens with a strong and exultant chorus "Lord!
It is written effectively on a massive scale, and it's middle part runs into a restless, agitated theme "The Heathen furiously rage". It closes, however, in the same energetic and jubilant manner which characterizes its opening, and leads directly to the Choral "To God on High". This section is serenely beautiful in its flowing harmony. The next section is the martyrdom of Stephen.
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Here the bass voices accuse him of blasphemy in a vigorous recitative. Stephen sings a brief solo then shouts from the chorus are heard "Take him away". He is soon stoned and a few bars of recitative in the tenor part tell the sad story of this tragic event. Saul soon appears criticizing the apostles. His first aria is a bass which is fiery and full of energy "consume them all". Next comes a beautiful arioso for alto. Then the conversion scene occurs. The voice from heaven "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me" is represented by the soprano choir which stands in contrast to the rest of the work.
After an orchestra interlude the music builds up with a crescendo to the vigorous chorus "Rise up! A Voice is calling". The music grows deeper and Saul prays a prayer asking for God to have mercy on Him. A more joyful part occurs in the bass solo with chorus "I will praise thee, O Lord, my God. After Saul receives his sight, a grand reflective chorus sings out "O great is the Depth of the Riches of Wisdom". This ends the first part of the oratorio with a powerful climax. Much of the foregoing information on the St. Paul Oratio comes from George Upton's book: Their stories, their music, and their composers ; Chicago: Paul Oratorio while in Rome.
He had spent a lot of time looking at a great deal of Titian and Raphael in the galleries of Rome. One of his obituarists noted: Bach,  whose organ music he brought back into the repertoire "virtually alone". In private and public performances, Mendelssohn was celebrated for his improvisations. On one occasion in London, when asked by the soprano Maria Malibran after a recital to extemporise, he improvised a piece which included the melodies of all the songs she had sung. The music publisher Victor Novello, who was present, remarked "He has done some things that seem to me impossible, even after I have heard them done.
Mendelssohn was a noted conductor, both of his own works and of those by other composers. At his London debut in , he was noted for his innovatory use of a baton then a great novelty. Among those appreciating Mendelssohn's conducting was Hector Berlioz, who in , invited to Leipzig, exchanged batons with Mendelssohn, writing "When the Great Spirit sends us to hunt in the land of souls, may our warriors hang our tomahawks side by side at the door of the council chamber".
Mendelssohn's interest in baroque music was not limited to the Bach St Matthew Passion which he had revived in He was concerned in preparing and editing such music, whether for performance or for publication, to be as close as possible to the original intentions of the composers, including wherever possible a close study of early editions and manuscripts.
This could lead him into conflict with publishers; for instance, his edition of Handel's oratorio Israel in Egypt for the London Handel Society evoked an often contentious correspondence, with Mendelssohn refusing for example to add dynamics where not given by Handel, or to add parts for trombones. Mendelssohn also edited a number of Bach's works for organ, and apparently discussed with Robert Schumann the possibility of producing a complete Bach edition.
Although Mendelssohn attributed great importance to musical education, and made a substantial commitment to the Conservatoire he founded in Leipzig, he did not greatly enjoy teaching and took only a very few private pupils who he believed had notable qualities. In the immediate wake of Mendelssohn's death, he was mourned both in Germany and England. However, the conservative strain in Mendelssohn, which set him apart from some of his more flamboyant contemporaries, bred a corollary condescension amongst some of them toward his music.
Mendelssohn's relations with Berlioz, Liszt and others had been uneasy and equivocal. Listeners who had raised questions about Mendelssohn's talent included Heinrich Heine , who wrote in after hearing the oratorio St. Paul that his work was. Mendelssohn's success, his popularity and his Jewish origins irked Wagner sufficiently to damn Mendelssohn with faint praise, three years after his death, in an anti-Jewish pamphlet Das Judenthum in der Musik: The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche expressed consistent admiration for Mendelssohn's music, in contrast to his general scorn for "Teutonic" romanticism:.
At any rate, the whole music of romanticism [e. Things were different with Felix Mendelssohn, that halcyon master who, thanks to his easier, purer, happier soul, was quickly honoured and just as quickly forgotten, as a lovely incident in German music. Some readers, however, have interpreted Nietzsche's characterization of Mendelssohn as a 'lovely incident' as condescending. In the 20th century the Nazi regime and its Reichsmusikkammer cited Mendelssohn's Jewish origin in banning performance and publication of his works, even asking Nazi-approved composers to rewrite incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream Carl Orff obliged.
The monument dedicated to Mendelssohn erected in Leipzig in was removed by the Nazis in A replacement was erected in Mendelssohn's grave remained unmolested during the National Socialist years. Mendelssohn's reputation in Britain remained high throughout the 19th century. Prince Albert inscribed in German a libretto for the oratorio Elijah in By the early twentieth century, many critics, including Bernard Shaw , began to condemn Mendelssohn's music for its association with Victorian cultural insularity; Shaw in particular complained of the composer's " kid-glove gentility, his conventional sentimentality, and his despicable oratorio-mongering".
Appreciation of Mendelssohn's work has developed over the last 50 years, together with the publication of a number of biographies placing his achievements in context. Mencken concluded that, if Mendelssohn indeed missed true greatness, he missed it "by a hair". Charles Rosen in a chapter on Mendelssohn in his book The Romantic Generation both praises and criticises the composer, calling him a "genius" with a "profound" comprehension of Beethoven and "the greatest child prodigy the history of Western music has ever known".
Although Rosen feels that in his later years, without losing his craft or genius, the composer "renounced Rosen considers the "Fugue in E minor" later included in Mendelssohn's Op.
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Nevertheless he points out how the dramatic power of "the juncture of religion and music" in Mendelssohn's oratorios is reflected throughout the music of the next fifty years in the operas of Meyerbeer and Giuseppe Verdi and in Wagner's Parsifal. A large portion of Mendelssohn's works still remained unpublished in the s, but most of them have now been made available.
This includes a modern and fully researched catalogue of his works, the Mendelssohn-Werkverzeichnis MWV. Larry Todd noted in , in the context of the impending bicentenary of Mendelssohn's birth, "the intensifying revival of the composer's music over the past few decades", and that "his image has been largely rehabilitated, as musicians and scholars have returned to this paradoxically familiar but unfamiliar European classical composer, and have begun viewing him from new perspectives.
The main collections of Mendelssohn's original musical autographs and letters are to be found in the Bodleian Library , Oxford University, the New York Public Library , and the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. German composer, pianist and organist. This article is about the German musician. For other people with the same surname, see Mendelssohn surname. For other uses, see Mendelssohn disambiguation. List of compositions by Felix Mendelssohn and Category: Compositions by Felix Mendelssohn. In German and some other languages the surname "Mendelssohn Bartholdy" sometimes hyphenated is generally used.
See The Musical Quarterly , vols. Sposato, Leon Botstein and others, for expressions of both points of view; and see Conway  for a tertium quid. For a modern example see Damian Thompson , "Why did Mendelssohn lose his mojo? The statue is now situated in Eltham College , London. Retrieved 12 December Archived from the original on 16 June Retrieved 17 December Die Mitglieder des Ordens. Retrieved 16 December Retrieved 3 December Retrieved 20 December Barenboim, Lev Aronovich Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein in Russian 2 vols.
State Musical Publishing House. The Officina Bodoni, Montagnola, Verona: The Life of Sterndale Bennett. Journal of the Royal Musical Association. A Portrait of Mendelssohn. New Haven and London: Thirty Years' Musical Recollections. Edited by Ernest Newman. Felix Mendelssohn in Britain".
The Jewish Year Book Retrieved December 2, Entry to the Profession from the Enlightenment to Richard Wagner. My Recollections of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. A Sense of Occasion: Mendelssohn in Birmingham Mendelssohn and Victorian England. The national and religious song reader. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online ed. Subscription or UK public library membership required. The Cambridge Companion to Mendelssohn.
Articles in Grove Music Online subscription required: Retrieved 14 January Daverio, John; Eric Sams. Bach, Mendelssohn und ihre Musik im Dritten Reich.
The Mendelssohn Family 4th revised ed. Sampson Low and Co. Edited by Felix's nephew, an important collection of letters and documents about the family. Music, Musicians and the Saint-Simonians.
Paul's Impact on Music: Felix Mendelssohn
University of Chicago Press. Romanticism and the Twentieth Century. Moscheles Mendelssohn, Felix Felix Mendelssohn, A Life in Letters. Elvers, translated by C. The Church Musicians Benham, H. Latin Church Music, hrdbk Bennett, J. Forty Years of Music, hrdbk Bennett, R. How to Become a Good Choral Singer: Its Development and Use hrdbk Berger, A. Women in American Music: Makers of the Harpsichord and Clavichord, folio hrdbk Bock, L. Orgelbau und Neue Orgelmusik pamphlet 2. The Music of the Baroque hrdbk Boult, A. Its Preparation and Performance hrdbk pamphlet Breck, F.
Choir Ideas hrdbk Bramley, H. Samuel Barber hrdbk Brown, A. A Thematic catalog hrdbk Brown, D. Music in the Renaissance pprbk 6. Organist-og Kantorembederne pprbk The Organ of Fifty Years Hence: Mozart and His Music hrdbk Burney, C. A General History of Music, Vol. Aeolian-Skinner Remembered hrdbk The Great Instrumentalists in Historic Photographs: History of the Piano hrdbk Clucas, H.
Choral Technique and Interpretation hrdbk Criswell, P. Musical Acoustics, Second edition hrdbk Cummings, W. Purcell hrdbk Curley, C. The Interpretation of Music hrdbk David, H. Festival Booklets, Number 1: Church Choirs pamphlet Davison, A. Choral Conducting hrdbk Davison, A.
Words and Music pamphlet Dawe, D. Organists of the City of London: A Symposium hrdbk DeVenney, D. The Boston Symphony Orchestra: Handel hrdbk Deutsch, O. A Life in Music Dickinson, E. A Critical Biography hrdbk Donington, R. The Instruments of Music pprbk Donington, R. The Language of the Classical French Organ: Raconte… pprbk Duffield, S.
Die Orgelbewegung pprbk Einstein, A. Handbuch der Orgelkunde, 2 vol. Orgel und Orgelmusik hrdbk Fellowes, E. Orlando Gibbons and His Family: Keyboard Interpretation pprbk Feschotte, J. An Introduction hrdbk Fesperman, J. A Biographical Study pprbk Foort, R. The Cinema Organ, 2nd Ed. History of Music Fortunato, C. Ralph Vaughan Williams hrdbk Foster, M. Bachs Antlitz pamplet Friis, N. Buxtehude hans by og hans orgel pamphlet Fromm, H. The Key of See: Conducting Choral Music hrdbk Geck, M.
Life and Work Geiringer, K. His Life and Work pprbk Geiringer, K. Historische Orgeln in der Slowakei hrdbk copy 1 Gergelyi, O. Historische Orgeln in der Slowakei hrdbk copy 2 Giesecke, C. O Clap Your Hands: Five Centuries of Keyboard Music: Music Literature Outlines, Series I: American Music from pprbk Gleason, H.
Music Literature Outlines, Series V: High Lights of Hymnists Goodrich, W. Modern Music Makers hrdbk Grabner, H. Die Kunst des Orgelbaues hrdbk Grace, H. The Music of Israel: Music hrdbk Guest, G. Haydn hrdbk Hadow, W. English Music hrdbk Hall, W. His Life and Music Handel, G. The Workbook for the Oratorio hrdbk Hansl, E. Harmonic Materials in tonal music: Britten hrdbk Heermans, H. Music the Hard Way pprbk Helmholtz, H. Sensations of Tone hrdbk Hensel, S. The Mendelssohn Family, , Vols.
Studies in Jewish Music: Collected Writings of A. Mozart pprbk Hilty, E. Principles of Organ Playing copy 2 Hindemith, P. Horizons and Limitations hrdbk Hines, R. Organ Construction hrdbk Hodeir, A. Contemporary British Composers hrdbk Holden, D. The Life and Work of Ernest M. Pianos in the Smithsonian Institution pamphlet Honegger, A. I Am a Composer hrdbk Hoover, C. Harpsichords and Clavichords pamphlet Hoover, C. American Music in the 20th Century hrdbk Howard, M. Thine Adversaries Roar Hubbard, F.
Vaughan Williams Hussey, D. Mozart hrdbk Hymn Society in the U. Acoustics for Liturgy pamphlet I Idelsohn, A. Wagner Writes from Paris: Natalicia Musicological pprbk Jeppsen, K.