3 February 1809 - 4 November 1847 (age 38)

Felix Mendelssohn was a German composer, conductor, organist and pianist. One of the most popular composers of the Romantic period. He was also largely responsible for arousing interest in the music of J.S.Bach.





portrait of Mendelssohn


Born: Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
3 February 1809, Hamburg 
Grandfather: Moses Mendelssohn, well known rabbi and Jewish philosopher.
Father: Abraham Mendelssohn, wealthy banker 
Mother: Leah Salomon 
Siblings: Fanny, Rebecka and Paul 
Wife: C├ęcile Jeanrenaud, daughter of a protestant clergyman 
Children: Carl, Marie, Paul, Felix and Lilli. 


- 11 Symphonies
- 5 operas 
- 1 Violin cocerto
- 2 piano concertos
- choral music and songs
- piano music including 48 'Songs without Words'

Violin concertoin Paris - part 4
Julia Fischer performs


- "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."

- "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."

- "Life and art are not two different things...."

Mendelssohn in Art
A fascinating collection of images - art, portraits, caricatures, cartoons, album covers and postage stamps.

Moods of the Sea (Fingal's Cave)

Moods of the Sea is a non-narrative visual(1941) film by Slavko Vorkapich and John Hoffman (1904-1980), set to the music of Felix Mendelssohn known as the Hebrides (or Fingal's Cave) Overture. This 10-minute-long film has become well known as an early example of American avant-garde and independent film.

I love the match of the film to the music. It really does capture the Moods of the Sea.

Spring Song
Songs without Words - Book 5, Op. 62

Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.21
Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Gergiev

Symphony 3 - 'Scottish' - Vivace Non Troppo
Photographs taken on and around the island of Staffa that features Fingal's Cave

Symphony No. 4 "Italian"
Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela

Wedding March

Links - and where to go for more information

The Mendelssohn Project




Classical Net

Mull Festival

German Composers 
Other profiles of German composers here at 52composers.com

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