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Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Born: February 3, 1809

Died: November 4, 1847 in Leipzig, Germany. Suffered from bad health in the final years of his life and died after a series of strokes.

Alternate/ Birth Name: Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany

  • Mother: Lea Salomon
  • Father: Abraham Mendelssohn
Siblings: Three Siblings.
  • Sister: Fanny Mendelssohn (Later Fanny Hensel)
  • Sister: Rebecca Mendelssohn
  • Brother: Paul Mendelssohn
Profession: German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.

Education: Felix, who became a child prodigy education obviously started learning and understanding at an early age for his recognition. At the age six he took piano lessons from his mother and at seven he became pupil of Marie Bigot in Paris.1817 onwards he studied composition with Carl Friedrich Zelter in Berlin and in 1824 started.

Childhood: Felix was born in a wealthy Jewish family, son of a banker and grandfather for a German Jewish philosopher, Moses Mendelssohn. His mother, Lea Salomon was a member Itzig family and sister of Prussian diplomat Jakob Salomon Bartholdy.His father renounced the Jewish religion so felix childhood was first brought up without religious education, and were baptised as Christians in 1816 was born into a notable Jewish family which later converted to Christianity. Felix grew in an intense intellectual environment, great German philosophers and other intellectual minds were frequent visitor to his home. Early disagreement didn't demotivate Felix for he was for he was set to a legendary life in his musical career. He started his lessons early and was recognized as child prodigy.At the age of nine he had his first musical concert when he participated in a chamber music concert accompanying a horn duo. His works were also performed at for the associates of his wealthy parents amongst the intellectual elite of Berlin. At 15, he wrote his first symphony for full orchestra, C minor, op. 11 and in his sixteenth year wrote his string octet in E-flat major and followed by his other works. he also studied with piano virtuoso Ignaz Moscheles who did confess that Felix didn't need much teaching.

First Break:Came at the age of nine where he participated in a chamber music concert accompanying a horn duo. His First major break came in the year 1833 as he appeared as a conductor in Immermann's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni.

Spouse: Cécile Jeanrenaud (1817-1853), daughter of a French Protestant clergyman. Got married on March 28, 1837. Cécile was 10 years younger than Felix.

Children: Had Five children. Three sons and two daughters.
  • Son - Carl Mendelssohn (Became a distinguished historian)
  • Daughter - Marie Mendelssohn (Married Victor Benecke and lived in London)
  • Son - Paul Mendelssohn (Was a noted chemist and pioneered the manufacture ofaniline dye)
  • Daughter - Lilli Mendelssohn (Married Adolphe Wach, later Professor of Law at Leipzig University)
  • Son - Felix Mendelssohn (Died at a very young age)

  • "It's not that music is too imprecise for words, but too precise...."
  • " Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God"
  • "Ever since I began to compose, I have remained true to my starting principle: not to write a page because no matter what public, or what pretty girl wanted it to be thus or thus; but to write solely as I myself thought best, and as it gave me pleasure."
  • "People often complain that music is too ambiguous, that what they should think when they hear it is so unclear, whereas everyone understands words. With me, it is exactly the opposite, and not only with regard to an entire speech but also with individual words."
  • "The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety."
  • "These seem to me so ambiguous, so vague, so easily misunderstood in comparison to genuine music, which fills the soul with a thousand things better than words."

Musical Journey:

1822 - Op. 1 , Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor 

1823 - Op. 2 , Piano Quartet No. 2 in F minor 

1824-1825 - Op. 3 , Piano Quartet No. 3 in B minor 

1825 - Op. 4 , Violin and Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor 

1825 - Op. 5 , Capriccio in F-sharp minor for piano 

1826 - Op. 6 , Piano Sonata No. 1 in E major 

1827 - Op. 7 , Pièces caractéristiques for piano 

No. 1 Sanft und mit Empfindung

No. 2 Mit heftiger Bewegung

No. 3 Kräftig und feurig

No. 4 Schnell und beweglich

No. 5 Ernst und mit steigender Lebhaftigkeit

No. 6 Sehnsüchtig

No. 7 Leicht und luftig

1824-1828 - Op. 8 , Twelve Gesänge for voice and piano 

No. 1 "Minnelied im Mai: Holder klingt der Vogelsang"

No. 2 "Das Heimweh: Was ist's das mir den Atem hemmet"

No. 3 "Italien: Schöner und schöner schmückt sich"

No. 4 "Erntelied: Es ist ein Schnitter, der heißt Tod"

No. 5 "Pilgerspruch: Laß dich nur nichts nicht dauern"

No. 6 "Frühlingslied. In schwäb. Mundart: Jetzt kommt der Frühling"

No. 7 "Maienlied: Man soll hören süßes Singen"

No. 8 "Hexenlied. Andres Maienlied: Die Schwalbe fliegt"

No. 9 "Abendlied: Das Tagewerk ist abgethan"

No. 10 "Romanze: Einmal aus seinen Blicken"

No. 11 "Im Grünen: Willkommen im Grünen"

No. 12 "Suleika und Hatem: An des lust'gen Brunnens Rand"

1829-1830 - Op. 9 , Twelve Lieder for voice and piano 

No. 1 "Frage: Ist es wahr?"

No. 2 "Geständnis: Kennst du nicht das Gluthverlangen"

No. 3 "Wartend (Romanze): Sie trug einen Falken"

No. 4 "Im Frühling: Ihr frühlingstrunknen Blumem"

No. 5 "Im Herbst: Ach wie schnell die Tage fliehen"

No. 6 "Scheidend: Wie so gelinde die Fluth bewegt"

No. 7 "Sehnsucht: Fern und ferner schallt der Reigen"

No. 8 "Frühlingsglaube: Die linden Lüfte sind erwacht"

No. 9 "Ferne: In weite Ferne will ich träumen"

No. 10 "Verlust: Und wussten's die Blumen"

No. 11 "Entsagung: Herr, zu dir will ich mich retten"

No. 12 "Die Nonne: Im stillen Klostergarten"

Op. 10 , Die Hochzeit des Camacho (opéra comique)

1824 - Op. 11 , Symphony No. 1 in C minor 

1829 - Op. 12 , String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat major 

1827 - Op. 13 , String Quartet No. 2 in A minor 

1824 - Op. 14 , Rondo capriccioso in E major for piano 

1827 - Op. 15 , Fantasia on "The Last Rose of Summer" in E major for piano 

1829 - Op. 16 , Fantasies or Caprices for piano 

No. 1 Fantasia in A minor

No. 2 Caprice or Scherzo in E minor

No. 3 Fantasia in E major ("The Rivulet")

1829 - Op. 17 , Variations concertantes in D major for piano and cello 

1826, 1832 - Op. 18 , String Quintet No. 1 in A major 

1830-1834 - Op. 19a , Six Gesange for voice and piano 

No. 1 "Frühlingslied: In dem Walde, süsse Tone"

No. 2 "Das erste Veilchen: Als ich das erste Veilchen erblickt"

No. 3 "Winterlied: Mein Sohn, wo willst du hin so spät"

No. 4 "Neue Liebe: In dem Mondenschein im Walde"

No. 5 "Gruss: Leise zieht durch mein Gemüth"

No. 6 "Reiselied: Bringet des treusten Herzens Grüsse"

1829-1830 - Op. 19b , Songs Without Words for piano, Book 1 

No. 1 Andante con moto in E major

No. 2 Andante espressivo in A minor

No. 3 Molto allegro e vivace in A major ("Jägerlied")

No. 4 Moderato in A major

No. 5 Poco agitato in F-sharp minor

No. 6 Andante sostenuto in G minor ("Venezianisches Gondellied" or Venetian Boat Song No. 1)

1825 - Op. 20 , String Octet in E-flat major 

1826 - Op. 21 , Ein Sommernachstraum Overture in E major for orchestra 

1825-1826 - Op. 22 , Capriccio brilliant in B minor for piano and orchestra 

Op. 23 , Trois Pièces sacrées for soloists, choir, and organ

No. 1 Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir

No. 2 Ave Maria

No. 3 Mitten wir im Leben sind

1824 - Op. 24 , Overture in C major for wind instruments 

1831 - Op. 25 , Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor 

1830-1832 - Op. 26 , Les Hébrides Overture in B minor for orchestra 

1828 - Op. 27 , Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt Overture in D major for orchestra 

Op. 28 , Fantasia in F-sharp minor for piano ("Sonate écossaise")

1834 - Op. 29 , Rondo brillant in E-flat major for piano and orchestra 

1833-1834 - Op. 30 , Songs Without Words for piano, Book 2 

No. 1 Andante espressivo in E-flat major

No. 2 Allegro di molto in B-flat minor

No. 3 Adagio non troppo in E major

No. 4 Agitato e con fuoco in B minor

No. 5 Andante grazioso in D major

No. 6 Allegretto tranquillo in F-sharp minor ("Venezianisches Gondellied" or Venetian Boat Song No. 2)

1830 - Op. 31 , Psaume CXV ("Non nobis, Domine") for choir and orchestra 

1833 - Op. 32 , Das Marchen von der schonen Melusine Overture in F major for orchestra 

1833-1835 - Op. 33 , Three Caprices for piano 

No. 1 Caprice in A minor

No. 2 Caprice in E major

No. 3 Caprice in B-flat minor

1834-1836 - Op. 34 , Six Gesänge for voice and piano 

No. 1 "Minnelied: Leucht't heller als die Sonne"

No. 2 "Auf Flügeln des Gesanges: Auf Flügeln des Gesanges"

No. 3 "Frühlingslied: Es brechen im schallenden Reigen"

No. 4 "Suleika: Ach, um deine feuchten Schwingen"

No. 5 "Sonntagslied: Ringsum erschallt in Wald und Flur"

No. 6 "Reiselied: Der Herbstwind rüttelt die Bäume"

1832-1837 - Op. 35 , Six Preludes and Fugues for piano 

No. 1 Prelude and Fugue in E minor

No. 2 Prelude and Fugue in D major

No. 3 Prelude and Fugue in B minor

No. 4 Prelude and Fugue in A-flat major

No. 5 Prelude and Fugue in F minor

No. 6 Prelude and Fugue in B-flat major

1836 - Op. 36 , St. Paul ( Oratorio ) for choir and orchestra 

1837 - Op. 37 , Three Preludes and Fugues for organ 

No. 1 Prelude and Fugue in C minor

No. 2 Prelude and Fugue in G major

No. 3 Prelude and Fugue in D minor

1836-1837 - Op. 38 , Songs Without Words for piano, Book 3 

No. 1 Con moto in E-flat major

No. 2 Allegro non troppo in C minor

No. 3 Presto e molto vivace in E major

No. 4 Andante in A major

No. 5 Agitato in A minor

No. 6 Andante con moto in A-flat major ("Duetto")

1830 - Op. 39 , Three Motets for female choir and organ 

No. 1 Veni, Domine

No. 2 Laudate pueri

No. 3 Surrexit pastor

1837 - Op. 40 , Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor 

1834-1838 - Op. 41 , Six Lieder for mixed voices a cappella 

No. 1 "Im Walde: Ihr Vögel in den Zweigen schwank"

No. 2 "Entflieh' mit mir: Entflieh' mit mir"

No. 3 "Es fiel ein Reif: Es fiel ein Reif"

No. 4 "Auf ihrem Grab: Auf ihrem Grab"

No. 5 "Mailied: Der Schnee zerrinnt"

No. 6 "Auf dem See: Und frische Nahrung"

1837 - Op. 42 , Psaume XLII for choir and orchestra 

1838 - Op. 43 , Serenade and Allegro giocoso in B minor for piano and orchestra 

Op. 44 , String Quartets

1838 - No. 1 String Quartet No. 3 in D major 

1837 - No. 2 String Quartet No. 4 in E minor 

1838 - No. 3 String Quartet No. 5 in E-flat major 

1838 - Op. 45 , Violin and Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat major 

1838 - Op. 46 , Psaume XCV ("Come, let us sing") for choir and orchestra 

1839 - Op. 47 , Six Gesänge for voice and piano 

No. 1 "Minnelied: Wie der Quell so lieblich klinget"

No. 2 "Morgengruss: Über die Berge steigt schon die Sonne"

No. 3 "Fruhlingslied: Durch den Wald, den dunklen, geht"

No. 4 "Volkslied: Es ist bestimmt in Gottes Rath"

No. 5 "Der Blumenstrauss: Sie wandelt im Blumengarten"

No. 6 "Bei der Wiege: Schlummre! Schlummre und träume von kommender Zeit"

1839 - Op. 48 , Der erste Frühlingstag for mixed voices a cappella 

No. 1 "Frühlingsahnung: O sanfter süsser Hauch"

No. 2 "Die Primel: Liebliche Blume"

No. 3 "Frühlingsfeier: Süsser, goldner Frühlingstag"

No. 4 "Lerchengesang: Wie lieblicher Klang"

No. 5 "Morgengebet: O wunderbares tiefes Schweigen"

No. 6 "Herbstlied: Holder Lenz, du bist dahin"

1839 - Op. 49 , Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor 

1837-1840 - Op. 50 , Six Lieder for four male voices a cappella 

No. 1 "Türkisches Schenkenlied: Setze mir nicht, du Grobian"

No. 2 "Der Jäger Abschied: Wer hat dich, du schöner Wald"

No. 3 "Sommerlied: Wie Feld und Au' so blinkend im Thau"

No. 4 "Wasserfahrt: Am fernen Horizonte"

No. 5 "Liebe und Wein: Liebesschmerz. Was quälte dir dein armes Herz"

No. 6 "Wanderlied: Vom Grund bis zu den Gipfeln"

1839 - Op. 51 , Psaume CXIV ("When Israel out of Egypt came") for double choir and orchestra 

1840 - Op. 52 , Symphony No. 2 in B flat major ("Lobgesang") 

1839-1841 - Op. 53 , ''Songs Without Words" for piano, Book 4 

No. 1 Andante con moto in A-flat major

No. 2 Allegro non troppo in E-flat major

No. 3 Presto agitato in G major

No. 4 Adagio in F major

No. 5 Allegro con fuoco in A minor ("Volkslied")

No. 6 Molto Allegro vivace in A major

1841 - Op. 54 , Variations sérieuses for piano 

1841 - Op. 55 , Antigone for male choir and orchestra 

1841-1842 - Op. 56 , Symphony No. 3 in A minor ("Scottish") 

Op. 57 , Six Lieder for voice and piano

No. 1 "Altdeutsches Lied: Es ist in den Wald gesungen"

No. 2 "Hirtenlied: O Winter, schlimmer Winter"

No. 3 "Suleika: Was bedeutet die Bewegung?"

No. 4 "O Jugend, o schöne Rosenzeit!: Von allen schönen Kindern auf der Welt"

No. 5 "Venetianisches Gondellied: Wenn durch die Piazetta"

No. 6 "Wanderlied: Laue Luft kommt blau geflossen"

1843 - Op. 58 , Violin and Piano Sonata No. 3 in D major 

1837-1843 - Op. 59 , Im Grünen , Six lieder for mixed voices a cappella 

No. 1 "Im Grünen: Im Grün erwacht der frische Muth"

No. 2 "Frühzeitiger Frühling: Tage der Wonne, kommt ihr so bald"

No. 3 "Abschied vom Wald: O Thaler weit, o Höhen"

No. 4 "Die Nachtigall: Die Nachtigall, sie war entfernt"

No. 5 "Ruhetal: Wann im letzten Abendstrahl"

No. 6 "Jagdlied: Durch schwankende Wipfel"

1831, 1843 - Op. 60 , Die erste Walpurgisnacht for choir and orchestra 

1842 - Op. 61 , A Midsummer Night's Dream 




Wedding March

1842-1844 - Op. 62 , Songs Without Words for piano, Book 5 

No. 1 Andante espressivo in G major

No. 2 Allegro con fuoco in B-flat major

No. 3 Andante maestoso in E minor ("Trauermarsch")

No. 4 Allegro con anima in G major

No. 5 Andante con moto in A minor ("Venezianisches Gondellied" or Venetian Boat Song No. 3)

No. 6 Allegretto grazioso in A major ("Frühlingslied" or "Spring Song)

1836-1845 - Op. 63 , Six Lieder for voice and piano 

No. 1 "Ich wollt' meine Lieb' ergösse sich: Ich wollt' meine Lieb' ergösse sich"

No. 2 "Abschied der Zugvögel: Wie war so schön doch Wald und Feld!"

No. 3 "Gruss: Wohin ich geh' und schaue"

No. 4 "Herbstlied: Ach, wie so bald verhallet der Reigen"

No. 5 "Volkslied: O sah' ich auf der Haide dort im Sturme dich"

No. 6 "Maiglöckchen und die Blümelein: Maiglöckchen läutet in dem Thal"

1844 - Op. 64 , Violin Concerto in E minor 

Op. 65 , Six Organ Sonatas

1844 - No. 1 Organ Sonata No. 1 in F minor 

1844 - No. 2 Organ Sonata No. 2 in C minor 

1844 - No. 3 Organ Sonata No. 3 in A major 

1845 - No. 4 Organ Sonata No. 4 in B-flat major 

1844 - No. 5 Organ Sonata No. 5 in D major 

1845 - No. 6 Organ Sonata No. 6 in D minor 

1845 - Op. 66 , Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor 

1843-1845 - Op. 67 , Songs Without Words for piano, Book 6 

No. 1 Andante in E-flat major

No. 2 Allegro leggiero in F-sharp minor

No. 3 Andante tranquillo in B-flat major

No. 4 Presto in C major ("Spinnerlied")

No. 5 Moderato in B minor

No. 6 Allegro non troppo in E major

1846 - Op. 68 , An die Künstler: Der Menschheit Würde for male choir and accompaniment 

1847 - Op. 69 , Three Motets for choir 

No. 1 Nunc dimittis

No. 2 Jubilate

No. 3 Magnificat

1846 - Op. 70 , Elijah for choir and orchestra 

Op. 71 , Six Lieder for voice and piano

No. 1 "Tröstung: Werde heiter, mein Gemüthe"

No. 2 "Frühlingslied: Der Frühling naht mit Brausen"

No. 3 "An die Entfernte: Diese Rose pflück' ich hier"

No. 4 "Schilflied: Auf dem Teich, dem regungslosen"

No. 5 "Auf der Wanderschaft: Ich wand're fort ins ferne Land"

No. 6 "Nachtlied: Vergangen ist der lichte Tag"

1842 - Op. 72 , Kinderstücke for piano 

No. 1 Allegro non troppo in G major

No. 2 Andante sostenuto in E-flat major

No. 3 Allegretto in G major

No. 4 Andante con moto in D major

No. 5 Allegro assai in G minor

No. 6 Vivace in F major

1846 - Op. 73 , Lauda Sion Cantata for choir and orchestra 

Lauda Sion salvatorem

Laudis thema specialis

Sit laus plena sit sonora

In hac mensa novi regis

Docti sacris institutis

Caro cibus, sanguis potus

Sumit unus, summunt mille

1845 - Op. 74 , Athalie 

Op. 75 , Wandersmann

No. 1 "Der frohe Wandersmann: Wem Gott will rechte Gunst"

No. 2 "Abendständchen: Schlafe, Liebchen, weil's auf Erden"

No. 3 "Trinklied: So lang man nüchtern ist"

No. 4 "Abschiedstafel: So ruckt denn in die Runde"

1844-1846 - Op. 76 , Four Lieder for four male voices 

No. 1 "Das Lied vom braven Mann: Gaben mir Rath und gute Lehren"

No. 2 "Rheinweinlied: Wo solch' ein Feuer noch gedeiht"

No. 3 "Lied für die Deutschen in Lyon: Was uns eint als deutsche"

No. 4 "Comitat: Nun zu guter Letzt"

1836-1847 - Op. 77 , Three Lieder for voice and piano 

No. 1 "Sonntagsmorgen: Das ist der Tag des Herrn"

No. 2 "Das Ährenfeld: Ein Leben war's im Ährenfeld"

No. 3 "Lied aus "Ruy Blas": Wozu der Vöglein Chöre belauschen fern und nah?"

Op. 78 , Three Psalms for choir a cappella

1843 - No. 1 Psaume II ("Why rage fiercely the heathen?") 

1844 - No. 2 Psaume XLIII ("Judge me, O God") 

1844 - No. 3 Psaume XXII ("My God, my God!") 

1844 - Psalm 55 - Hear my prayer

1844-1846 - Op. 79 , Six Antiennes for eight voices a cappella 

No. 1 "Rejoice, O ye people"

No. 2 "Thou, Lord, our refuge hast been"

No. 3 "Above all praises"

No. 4 "Lord, on our offenses"

No. 5 "Let our hearts be joyful"

No. 6 "For our offenses

1847 - Op. 80 , String Quartet No. 6 in F minor 

Op. 81 , Four pieces for string quartet

No. 1 Andante in E major

No. 2 Scherzo in A minor

No. 3 Capriccio in E minor

No. 4 Fugue in E-flat major

1841 - Op. 82 , Variations in E-flat major for piano 

1841 - Op. 83 , Variations in B-flat major for piano (also for piano, four hands) 

1831-1839 - Op. 84 , Three Lieder for bass voice and piano 

No. 1 "Da lieg' ich unter den Bäumen: Da lieg' ich unter den Bäumen"

No. 2 "Herbstlied: Im Walde rauschen dürre Blätter"

No. 3 "Jagdlied: Mit Lust that ich ausreiten"

1834-1845 - Op. 85 , Songs Without Words for piano, Book 7 

No. 1 Andante espressivo in F major

No. 2 Allegro agitato in A minor

No. 3 Presto in E-flat major

No. 4 Andante sostenuto in D major

No. 5 Allegretto in A major

No. 6 Allegretto con moto in B-flat major

1826-1847 - Op. 86 , Six Gesange for voice and piano 

No. 1 "Es lauschte das Laub: Es lauschte das Laub so dunkelgrun"

No. 2 "Morgenlied: Erwacht in neuer Starke"

No. 3 "Die Liebende schreibt: Ein Blick von deinen Augen"

No. 4 "Allnächtlich im Traume seh' ich dich: Allnächtlich im Traume"

No. 5 "Der Mond: Mein Herz ist wie die dunkle Nacht"

No. 6 "Altdeutsches Frühlingslied: Des trübe Winter ist vorbei"

1845 - Op. 87 , String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat major 

1839-1844 - Op. 88 , Six Lieder for four mixed voices a cappella 

No. 1 "Neujahrslied: Mit der Freude zieht der Schmerz"

No. 2 "Der Glückliche: Ich hab' ein Liebchen"

No. 3 "Hirtenlied: O Winter, schlimmer Winter"

No. 4 "Die Waldvöglein: Kommt, lasst uns geh'n spazieren"

No. 5 "Deutschland: Durch tiefe Nacht ein Brausen zieht"

No. 6 "Der wandernde Musikant: Durch Feld und Buchenhallen"

1829 - Op. 89 , Heimkehr aus der Fremde 

1833 - Op. 90 , Symphony No. 4 in A major ("Italian") 

1843 - Op. 91 , Psaume XCVIII ("Sing to the Lord a new song") for choir, orchestra, and organ )

1841 - Op. 92 , Allegro brilliant in A major for piano, four hands 

1845 - Op. 93 , Oedipus at Colonos 

1834-1843 - Op. 94 , Infelice: Unglückselge! … Kehret wieder in B-flat major for soprano and orchestra 

1839 - Op. 95 , Overture in C minor  ("Ruy Blas") for orchestra 

1840-1843 - Op. 96 , Lass', o Herr for choir and orchestra 

Op. 97 , Christus

1847 - Op. 98 , Loreley (opera) 

1841-1845 - Op. 99 , Six Gesange for voice and piano 

No. 1 "Erster Verlust: Ach, wer bringt die schönen Tage"

No. 2 "Die Sterne schau'n in stiller Nacht: Die Sterne schau'n in stiller Nacht"

No. 3 "Lieblingsplätzchen: Wisst ihr, wo ich gerne weil'"

No. 4 "Das Schifflein: Ein Schifflein ziehet leise"

No. 5 "Wenn sich zwei Herzen scheiden: Wenn sich zwei Herzen scheiden"

No. 6 "Es weiss und rath es doch Keiner: Es weiss und rath es doch Keiner"

1839-1844 - Op. 100 , Four Lieder for four voices a cappella 

No. 1 "Andenken: Die Bäume grünen überall"

No. 2 "Lob des Frühlings: Saatengrün, Veilchenduft"

No. 3 "Frühlingslied: Berg und Thal will ich durchstreifen"

No. 4 "Im Wald: O Wald, du kühlender Bronnen"

1826 - Op. 101 , Overture in C major for orchestra ("Trumpet") 

1842-1845 - Op. 102 , Songs Without Words for piano, Book 8 

No. 1 Andante un poco agitato in E minor

No. 2 Adagio in D major

No. 3 Presto in C major

No. 4 Un poco agitato, ma andante in G minor

No. 5 Allegro vivace in A major ("Kinderstücke")

No. 6 Andante in C major

1836 - Op. 103 , Trauermarsch in A minor for military orchestra 

1834 - Op. 104a , Three Preludes for piano 

No. 1 Prelude in B-flat major

No. 2 Prelude in B minor

No. 3 Prelude in D major

1834-1838 - Op. 104b , Three Etudes for piano 

No. 1 Etude in B-flat minor

No. 2 Etude in F major

No. 3 Etude in A minor

1821 - Op. 105 , Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor 

1827 - Op. 106 , Piano Sonata No. 3 in B-flat major 

1830 - Op. 107 , Symphony No. 5 in D major ("Reformation") 

1841 - Op. 108 , March in D major for orchestra 

1845 - Op. 109 , Chant sans parole in D major for cello and piano 

1824 - Op. 110 , Piano Sextet in D major 

1827 - Op. 111 , Tu es Petrus in A major for five voices and orchestra 

1835 - Op. 112 , Two Chants sacrés for voice and piano 

No. 1 "Doch der Herr, er leitet die Irrenden recht"

No. 2 "Der du die Menschen lassest sterben"

1833 - Op. 113 , Concert Piece in F minor for clarinet, bassoon, and piano 

1833 - Op. 114 , Concert Piece in D minor for clarient, bassoon, and piano 

1833 - Op. 115 , Two Chœurs sacrés for male choir a cappella 

No. 1 "Beati mortui: Beati mortui in Domino"

No. 2 "Periti autem: Periti autem fulgebunt"

1845 - Op. 116 , Trauer-Gesang: Sahst du ihn herniederschweben in der Morgen Funeral Song in G minor for mixed choir a cappella 

1837 - Op. 117 , Feuille d'album in E minor for piano 

1837 - Op. 118 , Capriccio in E major for piano 

Op. 119 , Perpetuum mobile in C major for piano

1837-1847 - Op. 120 , Four Lieder for four male voices a cappella 

No. 1 "Jagdlied: Auf, ihr Herrn und Damen schön"

No. 2 "Morgengruss des Thüringischen Sangerbundes: Seid gegrüsset, traute Bruder"

No. 3 "Im Süden: Süsse Dufte, milde Lüfte"

No. 4 "Zigeunerlied: Im Nebelgeriesel, im tiefen Schnee"

1833 - Op. 121 , Adspice Domine de sede for male choir and cello 

Adspice Domine de sede

Asperi oculos tuos

Qui regis Israel

Asperi oculos tuos

O lux beata

Popular Works: 

1824 - Op. 14 , Rondo capriccioso in E major for piano

1827 - Op. 7 , Pièces caractéristiques for piano

1829 - Op. 12 , String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat major

1829-1830 - Op. 19b ,No. 6 Andante sostenuto in G minor ("Venezianisches Gondellied" or Venetian Boat Song No. 1)

1832-1837 - Op. 35 , Six Preludes and Fugues for piano

1834-1836 - Op. 34, No. 2 "Auf Flügeln des Gesanges: Auf Flügeln des Gesanges"

1834-1845 - Op. 85, No. 2 Allegro agitato in A minor

1836 - Op. 36 , St. Paul ( Oratorio ) for choir and orchestra

1839 - Op. 49 , Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor

1839-1841 - Op. 53 , No. 5 Allegro con fuoco in A minor ("Volkslied") 

1841 - Op. 54 , Variations sérieuses for piano

1842-1845, Op. 102, No. 6 Andante in C major

1843-1845 - Op. 67, No. 4 Presto in C major ("Spinnerlied")

1844 - Op. 64 , Violin Concerto in E minor

1845 - Op. 66 , Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor

Harriet Brower's Account For Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Mendelssohn has often been named "Felix the Happy," and he truly deserved the title. Blest with a most cheerful disposition, with the power to make friends of every one he met, and wherever he went, the son of a rich banker, surrounded with

everything that wealth could give, it was indeed no wonder that Felix Mendelssohn was happy. He did not have to struggle with poverty and privation as most of the other great musicians were forced to do. Their music was often the expression of struggle and sorrow. He had none of these things to bear; he was carefree and happy, and his music reflects the joyous contentment of his life.

The Mendelssohn family originally lived in Hamburg. Their house faced one of the fine squares of the city, with a handsome church on the opposite side. The building is still there and well preserved, although the principal story is used as public dining rooms. A large tablet has been placed above the doorway, with a likeness of the composer encircled by a wreath of laurel. Here little Felix was born, February 3, 1809. There were other children, Fanny a year or two older, then after Felix came Rebekka and little Paul. When French soldiers occupied the town in 1811, life became very unpleasant for the German residents, and whoever could, sought refuge in other cities and towns. Among those who successfully made their escape was the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy family, the second name belonged to the family and was used to distinguish their own from other branches of the Mendelssohn family. With his wife and children, Abraham Mendelssohn fled to Berlin, and made his home for some years with the grandmother, who had a house on the Neue Promenade, a fine broad street, with houses only on one side, the opposite side descended in a grassy slope to the canal, which flowed lazily by.

It was a happy life the children led, amid ideal surroundings. Felix very early showed a great fondness for music, and everything was done to foster his budding talent. With his sister Fanny, to whom he was devotedly attached, he began to have short music lessons from his mother when he was only four years old. Their progress was so satisfactory, that after a while, professional musicians were engaged to teach them piano, violin and composition, as a regular part of their education. Besides these, they must study Greek, Latin, drawing and school subjects. With so much study to be done each day, it was necessary to begin work at five o'clock in the morning. But in spite of hard work all were happy, and as for Felix nothing could dampen the flow of his high spirits; he enjoyed equally work and play, giving the same earnest attention to each. Both he and Fanny were beginning to compose, and Felix's attempts at improvising upon some comical incident in their play time would call forth peals of laughter from the inseparable children.

Soon more ambitious attempts at composition were made, the aim being to write little operas. But unless they could be performed, it was useless to try and make operas. This was a serious difficulty; but Felix was deeply in earnest in whatever he undertook, and decided he must have an orchestra to try out his operatic efforts. It looked like an impossibility, but love and money can accomplish wonders. A small orchestra was duly selected from among the members of the Court band. The lad Felix was to conduct these sedate musicians, which he did modestly but without embarrassment, standing on a footstool before his men, waving the baton like a little general. Before the first performance was quite ready, Felix felt there must be some one present who could really judge of the merits of his little piece. Who would do so better than his old professor of thorough bass and composition, Carl Zelter, the director of the Berlin Singakademie. Zelter agreed to accept this delicate office, and a large number of friends were invited for the occasion.

This was only the beginning of a series of weekly musical evenings at the Mendelssohn home. Felix, with his dark curls, his shining eyes, and charming manners, was the life of anything he undertook. He often conducted his little pieces, but did not monopolize the time. Sometimes all four children took part, Fanny at the piano, Rebekka singing, Paul playing the 'cello and Felix at the desk. Old Zelter was generally present, and though averse to praising pupils, would often say a few words of encouragement at the close.

Felix was at this time but little more than twelve years old. He had within the last year composed fifty or sixty pieces, including a trio for piano and strings, containing three movements, several sonatas for the piano, some songs and a musical comedy in three scenes, for piano and voices. All these were written with the greatest care and precision, and with the date of each neatly added. He collected his pieces into volumes; and the more work he did the more neatly he wrote.

The boy Felix had a wonderful gift for making friends. One day he suddenly caught sight of Carl Maria von Weber walking along the streets of Berlin, near his home. He recognized the famous composer at once, as he had lately visited his parents. The boy's dark eyes glowed with pleasure at the recognition, and tossing back his curls, he sprang forward and threw his arms about Weber's neck, begging him to go home with him. When the astonished musician recovered himself, he presented the boy to Jules Benedict, his young friend and pupil who walked at his side, saying, "This is Felix Mendelssohn." For response Felix, with a bright look, seized the young man's hand in both his own. Weber stood by smiling at the boy's enthusiasm. Again Felix besought them to come home with him, but Weber had to attend a rehearsal. "Is it for the opera?" the boy cried excitedly.

"Yes," answered the composer.

"Does he know all about it?" asked Felix, pointing to Benedict.

"Indeed he does," answered the composer laughing, "or if he doesn't he ought to for he has been bored enough with it already." The boy's eyes flashed.

"Then you, will come with me to my home, which is quite near, will you not?" There was no refusing those appealing dark eyes. Felix again embraced Weber, and then challenged his new friend, Mr. Benedict, to race him to the door of his house. On entering he dragged the visitor upstairs to the drawing-room, exclaiming, "Mama, Mama, here is a gentleman, a pupil of Carl Weber, who knows all about the new opera, 'Der Freischütz.'"

The young musician received a warm welcome, and was not able to leave until he had played on the piano all the airs he could remember from the wonderful new opera, which Weber had come to Berlin to superintend. Benedict was so pleased with his first visit that he came again. This time he found Felix writing music and asked what it was. "I am finishing my new quartet for piano and strings," was the simple reply. To say that Benedict was surprised at such an answer from a boy of twelve hardly expresses what he felt. It was quite true he did not yet know Felix Mendelssohn. "And now," said the boy, laying down his pen, "I will play to you, to prove how grateful I am that you played to us last time." He then sat down at the piano and played correctly several melodies from "Der Freischütz," which Benedict had played on his first visit. After that they went into the garden, and Felix for the moment, became a rollicking boy, jumping fences and climbing trees like a squirrel.

Toward the close of this year, 1821, his teacher Zelter announced he intended going to Wiemar, to see Goethe, the aged poet of Wiemar, and was willing to take Felix with him. The poet's house at Wiemar was indeed a shrine to the elect, and the chance of meeting the object of so much hero worship, filled the impressionable mind of Felix with reverential awe. Zelter on his part, felt a certain pride in bringing his favorite pupil to the notice of the great man, though he would not have permitted Felix to guess what he felt for anything he possessed.

When they arrived, Goethe was walking in his garden. He greeted both with kindness and affection, and it was arranged that Felix should play for him next day. Zelter had told Goethe much about his pupil's unusual talents, but the poet wished to prove these accounts by his own tests. Selecting piece after piece of manuscript music from his collection, he asked the boy to play them at sight. He was able to do so with ease, to the astonishment of the friends who had come in to hear him. They were more delighted when he took a theme from one of the pieces and improvised upon it. Withholding his praise, Goethe announced he had a final test, and placed on the music desk a sheet which seemed covered with mere scratches and blotches. The boy laughingly exclaimed, "Who could ever read such writing as that?" Zelter rose and came to the piano to look at this curiosity. "Why, it is Beethoven's writing; one can see that a mile off! He always wrote as if he used a broomstick for a pen, then wiped his sleeve over the wet ink!"

The boy picked out the strange manuscript bit by bit; when he came to the end he cried, "Now I will play it through for you," which he did without a mistake. Goethe was well pleased and begged Felix to come every day and play, while he was in the city. The two became fast friends; the poet treated him as a son, and at parting begged he would soon return to Wiemar, that they might again be together. During the following summer the whole family made a tour through Switzerland, much to the delight of Felix, who enjoyed every moment. There was little time for real work in composition, but a couple of songs and the beginning of a piano quartet were inspired by the view of Lake Geneva and its exquisite surroundings.

When Felix returned to Berlin, he had grown much, physically as well as mentally. He was now tall and strong, his curling locks had been clipped, and he seemed at a single bound to have become almost a man. His happy, boyish spirits, however, had not changed in the least. About this time the family removed from their home on the Neue Promenade, to a larger and more stately mansion, No. 3 Leipsiger Strasse, then situated on the outskirts of the town, near the Potsdam Gate. As those who know the modern city realize, this house, now no longer a private residence, stands in the very heart of traffic and business. The rooms of the new home were large and elegant, with a spacious salon suitable for musicals and large functions. A fine garden or park belonged to the house, where were lawns shaded by forest trees, winding paths, flowering shrubs and arbors in shady nooks, offering quiet retreats. Best of all there was a garden house, with a central hall, which would hold several hundred people, having long windows and glass doors looking out upon the trees and flowers. Sunday concerts were soon resumed and given in the garden house, where, on week days the young people met, with friends and elders, to play, and act and enjoy the social life of the home. The mansion and its hospitality became famous, and every great musician, at one time or another, came to pay his respects and become acquainted with this art-loving family.

At a family party in honor of Felix's fifteenth birthday, his teacher Zelter saluted him as no longer an apprentice, but as an "assistant" and member of the Brotherhood of Art. Very soon after this the young composer completed two important works. The first was an Octet for strings. He was not yet seventeen when the Octet was finished, which was pronounced the most fresh and original work he had yet accomplished. It marked a distinct stage in the gifted youth's development. The composition which followed was the beautiful "Midsummer Night's Dream" music. He and his sister Fanny had lately made the acquaintance of Shakespeare through a German translation, and had been fascinated by this fairy play. The young people spent much of their time in the lovely garden that summer, and amid these delightful surroundings the music was conceived.

The Overture was first to spring into being. When it was written out, Felix and Fanny often played it as a duet. In this form the composer-pianist Moscheles heard it and was impressed by its beauty. The fascinating Scherzo and dreamy Nocturne followed. When all were elaborated and perfected, the complete work was performed by the garden house orchestra for a crowded audience, who abundantly expressed their delight. Sir G. Macfarren has said of it: "No one musical work contains so many points of harmony and orchestration that are novel yet none of them have the air of experiment, but all seem to have been written with a certainty of their success."

And now a great plan occupied Mendelssohn's mind, a project which had been forming for some time; this was nothing less than to do something to arouse people to know and appreciate the great works of Johann Sebastian Bach. Two years before Felix had been presented with a manuscript score of Bach's "Passion according to St. Matthew," which Zelter had allowed to be copied from the manuscript preserved in the Singakademie. The old man was a devoted lover of Bach's music, and had taught his pupil in the same spirit. When Felix found himself the possessor of this wonderful book, he set to work to master it, until he knew every bit of it by heart. As he studied it deeply he was more and more impressed with its beauty and sublimity. He could hardly believe that this great work was unknown throughout Germany, since more than a hundred years had passed since it had been written. He determined to do something to arouse people from such apathy.

Talking the matter over with musicians and friends, he began to interest them in the plan to study the music of the Passion. Soon he had secured sixteen good voices, who rehearsed at his home once a week. His enthusiasm fired them to study the music seriously, and before very long they were anxious to give a public performance. There was a splendid choir of nearly four hundred voices conducted by Zelter, at the Singakademie; if he would only lend his chorus to give a trial performance, under Mendelssohn's conducting, how splendid that would be! But Felix knew that Zelter had no faith in the public taking any interest in Bach, so there was no use asking. This opinion was opposed by one of his little choir, named Devrient, who insisted that Zelter should be approached on the subject. As he himself had been a pupil of Zelter, he persuaded Mendelssohn to accompany him to the director's house.

Zelter was found seated at his instrument, enveloped by a cloud of smoke from a long stemmed pipe. Devrient unfolded the plan of bringing this great work of Bach to the knowledge of the public. The old man listened to their plea with growing impatience, until he became quite excited, rose from his chair and paced the floor with great strides, exclaiming, "No, it is not to be thought of—it is a mad scheme." To Felix argument then seemed useless and he beckoned his friend to come away, but Devrient refused to move, and kept up his persuasive argument. Finally, as though a miracle had been wrought, Zelter began to weaken, and at last gave in, and besides promised all the aid in his power.

How this youth, not yet twenty, undertook the great task of preparing this masterpiece, and what he accomplished is little short of the marvelous. The public performance, conducted by Mendelssohn, took place March 11, 1829, with every ticket sold and more than a thousand persons turned away. A second performance was given on March 21, the anniversary of Bach's birth, before a packed house. These performances marked the beginning of a great Bach revival in Germany and England, and the love for this music has never been lost, but increases each year.

And now it seemed best for Felix to travel and see something of other countries. He had long wished to visit England, and the present seemed a favorable time, as his friends there assured him of a warm welcome. The pleasure he felt on reaching London was increased by the enthusiastic greeting he received at the hands of the musical public. He first appeared at a Philharmonic concert on May 25, when his Symphony in C minor was played. The next day he wrote to Fanny: "The success of the concert last night was beyond all I had ever dreamed. It began with my Symphony. I was led to the desk and received an immense applause. The Adagio was encored, but I went on; the Scherzo was so vigorously applauded that I had to repeat it. After the Finale there was lots more applause, while I was thanking the orchestra and shaking hands, till I left the room."

A continual round of functions interspersed with concerts at which he played or conducted, filled the young composer's time. The overture to "Midsummer Night's Dream" was played several times and always received with enthusiasm. On one occasion a friend was so careless as to leave the manuscript in a hackney coach on his way home and it was lost. "Never mind, I will write another," said Mendelssohn, which he was able to do, without making a single error.

When the London season closed, Mendelssohn and his friend Klingemann went up to Scotland, where he was deeply impressed with the varied beauty of the scenery. Perhaps the Hebrides enthralled him most, with their lonely grandeur. His impressions have been preserved in the Overture to "Fingal's Cave," while from the whole trip he gained inspiration for the Scottish Symphony.

On his return to London and before he could set out for Berlin, Felix injured his knee, which laid him up for several weeks, and prevented his presence at the home marriage of his sister Fanny, to William Hensel, the young painter. This was a keen disappointment to all, but Fanny was not to be separated from her family, as on Mendelssohn's return, he found the young couple had taken up their residence in the Gartenhaus.

Mendelssohn had been greatly pleased with his London visit, and though the grand tour he had planned was really only begun, he felt a strong desire to return to England. However, other countries had to be visited first. The following May he started south, bound for Vienna, Florence and Rome. His way led through Wiemar and gave opportunity for a last visit to Goethe. They passed a number of days in sympathetic companionship. The poet always wanted music, but did not seem to care for Beethoven's compositions, which he said did not touch him at all, though he felt they were great, astonishing.

After visiting numerous German cities, Switzerland was reached and its wonderful scenery stirred Mendelssohn's poetic soul to the depths. Yet, though his passionate love of nature was so impressed by the great mountains, forests and waterfalls, it was the sea which he loved best of all. As he approached Naples, and saw the sea sparkling in the sun lighted bay, he exclaimed: "To me it is the finest object in nature! I love it almost more than the sky. I always feel happy when I see before me the wide expanse of water." Rome, of course, was a center of fascination. Every day he picked out some special object of interest to visit, which made that particular day one never to be forgotten. The tour lasted until the spring of 1832, before Mendelssohn returned to his home in Berlin, only to leave it shortly afterwards to return to London. This great city, in spite of its fogs, noises and turmoil, appealed to him more than the sunshine of Naples, the fascination of Florence or the beauty of Rome.

The comment on Mendelssohn that "he lived years where others only lived weeks," gives a faint idea of the fulness with which his time was occupied. It is only possible to touch on his activities in composition, for he was always at work. In May 1836 when he was twenty-seven, he conducted in Düsseldorf the first performance of his oratorio of "St. Paul." At this period he wrote many of those charming piano pieces which he called "Songs without Words." This same year brought deepest happiness to Mendelssohn, in his engagement to Cécile Jean-Renaud, the beautiful daughter of a French Protestant clergyman. The following spring they were married, a true marriage of love and stedfast devotion.

The greatest work of Mendelssohn's career was his oratorio of "Elijah" which had long grown in his mind, until it was on the eve of completion in the spring of 1846. In a letter to the famous singer Jenny Lind, an intimate friend, he writes: "I am jumping about my room for joy. If my work turns out half as good as I fancy it is, how pleased I shall be."

During these years in which he conceived the "Elijah," his fame had spread widely. Honors had been bestowed on him by many royalties. The King of Saxony had made him Capellmeister of his Court, and Queen Victoria had shown him many proofs of personal regard, which endeared him more than ever to the country which had first signally recognized his genius.

It was Leipsic perhaps which felt the power of his genius most conclusively. The since famous Leipsic Conservatory was founded by him, and he was unceasing in his labors to advance art in every direction. He also found time to carry out a long cherished plan to erect, at the threshold of the Thomas School, Leipsic, a monument to the memory of Sebastian Bach.

Let us take one more glimpse of our beloved composer. It was the morning of August 26, 1846. The Town Hall of Birmingham, England, was filled with an expectant throng, for today the composer of the "Elijah" was to conduct his greatest work, for the first time before an English audience. When Mendelssohn stepped upon the platform, he was greeted by a deafening shout; the reception was overwhelming, and at the close the entire audience sprang to its feet in a frenzy of admiration. He wrote to his brother Paul that evening: "No work of mine ever went so admirably at the first performance, or was received with such enthusiasm both by musicians and public." During April the following year, four performances of the "Elijah" took place in Exeter Hall, the composer conducting, the Queen and Prince Albert being present on the second occasion. This visit to England which was to be his last, had used his strength to the limit of endurance, and there was a shadow of a coming breakdown. Soon after he rejoined his family in Frankfort, his sister Fanny suddenly passed away in Berlin. The news was broken to him too quickly, and with a shriek he fell unconscious to the floor.

From this shock he never seemed to rally, though at intervals for a while, he still composed. His death occurred November 4, 1847. It can be said of him that his was a beautiful life, in which "there was nothing to tell that was not honorable to his memory and profitable to all men."

Mendelssohn's funeral was imposing. The first portion was solemnized at Leipsic, attended by crowds of musicians and students, one of the latter bearing on a cushion a silver crown presented by his pupils of the Conservatory. Beside the crown rested the Order "Pour le Mérite," conferred on him by the King of Prussia. The band, during the long procession, played the E minor "Song without Words," and at the close of the service the choir sang the final chorus from Bach's "Passion." The same night the body was taken to Berlin and placed in the family plot in the old Dreifaltigkeit Kirch-hof, beside that of his devoted sister Fanny.