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Collection Felix Mendelssohn at the Library of Congress

Articles and Essays

Articles related to Mendelssohn's work, biographies, additional topics and research resources.

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    Felix Mendelssohn and the Leipzig Gewandhaus

    Article. Article. The Gewandhaus Orchestra, which began its first season in November of 1781, had developed over time into one of Europe's prominent ensembles, attracting the most talented composers and virtuosos of the Classical era. It was under the leadership of Mendelssohn however, who served as director from 1835 to 1847, that this ensemble was transformed into a cultural institution. Idolized from the beginning ...

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    Felix Mendelssohn and Jewish Identity

    Article. Article. While Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was raised and remained a practicing Lutheran throughout his life, and never received any religious instruction in Judaism, it would appear that he retained a substantial sense of his Jewish identity -- something of which he would have certainly been aware in his daily life as part of a family that had, by all indications, successfully assimilated into ...

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    Felix Mendelssohn as Composer

    Article. Article. During his brief life, Mendelssohn produced approximately 750 musical works in nearly every genre -- from solo songs and works for solo piano, to choral and chamber works, and to large scale orchestral works, oratorio and even opera. As a virtuoso pianist and organist, it is not surprising that nearly one quarter of his works are written for these instruments; of his ...

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    Felix Mendelssohn: Sacred Works

    Article. Article. Ewer's London edition of the op. 69 Motets appeared in late 1847 and included an organ part and English texts; the first German edition introduced by Breitkopf & Härtel the following year as Drei Motetten featured both German and English texts, deleted the organ accompaniment altogether, and instigated a host of significant changes in both the overall order and musical content.

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    Felix Mendelssohn: Lieder ohne Worte

    Article. Article. The Library of Congress holds the holograph manuscript scores of two of the Lieder ohne Worte -- op. 85, no. 3 (1835), and op. 38, no. 2 (1837) -- part of the so-called "Grabau Album," which also includes a watercolor by Mendelssohn of the Leipzig Gewandhaus (concert hall), as well as holograph correspondence of Mendelssohn and of Robert and Clara Schumann. The ...

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    Felix Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat major, op. 20, for strings (1825)

    Article. Article. Before his premature death at age thirty-eight, Felix Mendelssohn was to compose five symphonies, numerous other orchestral, stage and chamber works, and literally hundreds of vocal works ranging from solo song to large scale choral works (such as the popular oratorio Elijah of 1836, based on the Biblical account of the prophet's life). The Octet, however, holds a unique place among Mendelssohn's ...

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    Felix Mendelssohn: Art Works

    Article. Article. The watercolor, measuring 10.0 by 9.4 cm (with musical quotation, 15.6 by 9.4 cm), and dated Leipzig, February 23, 1836, may have been executed by Mendelssohn simply as a memento of the performance itself, or, as scholar Donald Mintz speculates in his article about the work ("Mendelssohn's Water Color of the Gewandhaus," Notes, 2nd Ser., Vol. 18, No. 2, March 1961, pages ...

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    Felix Mendelssohn: Reviving the Works of J.S. Bach

    Article. Article. During the last years of his life, Mendelssohn paid further homage to J.S. Bach by preparing an edition of the latter's organ works (published in London by Coventry and Hollier, 1845-46). Mendelssohn's own Six Sonatas for organ, op. 65 (1845) not only renewed interest in the organ repertoire, and especially that of Bach, but also prompted the composition of new works for ...

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    Felix Mendelssohn as Correspondent

    Article. Article. Later on in the same document, in a brief musical discussion about his overture Die schöne Melusine, his obsession by what he referred to as "the revision devil" emerges:

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    Felix Mendelssohn Manuscripts and Resources for Research at the Library of Congress

    Article. Article. Searching for Mendelssohn's name in the online "Performing Arts Encyclopedia," accessed through the website of the Library's Performing Arts Reading Room and which highlights selected digital resources held by the Library, will provide links to manuscript and early published musical scores of the composer, as well as to related material such as concert programs. Similarly, performing a search of the composer's name ...

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    Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, 1809-1847

    Biography. Biography. Felix Mendelssohn died in Leipzig on November 4, 1847, at the age of thirty-eight. His influence on Western music of the era, represented by the large number of works that produced and his tireless efforts in performing, conducting and resurrecting music of the past, has left an indelible imprint on our shared musical culture that may be perceived even today.

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    Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, 1805-1847

    Biography. Biography. One day in May 1847, a few hours after rehearsing Felix's cantata Die erste Walpurgisnacht for a Sonntagsmusiken performance, Fanny collapsed and died at the age of forty-one, the victim of a stroke. She did, however, live to witness changing attitudes towards women in musical professions, which resulted in a handful of her works having appeared in print, thereby fulfilling her lifelong ...

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    Cécile (Jeanrenaud) Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, 1817-1853

    Biography. Biography. By June 7, Mendelssohn had returned to Frankfurt, spending his days revising Paulus, socializing with friends and family members, and of course becoming better acquainted with Cécile and her family. Accounts of her contemporaries describe Cécile as a woman of striking beauty, a petite woman with delicate features and a calm, quiet, gracious manner -- a counterbalance to Felix's typically gregarious manner. ...