By Clive Brown
Due to the fact his demise in 1847, Felix Mendelssohn's tune and character were either trendy and denigrated to outstanding levels. during this research Clive Brown weaves jointly a wealthy array of files - letters, diaries, memoirs, reports, information stories and extra - with the purpose of providing a balanced photo of the composer and his paintings. Rejecting the obtained view of Mendelssohn as a facile, light-weight musician, Brown demonstrates that he was once in truth an cutting edge and hugely cerebral composer who exerted a robust impression on musical concept into the twentieth century. Brown discusses Mendelssohn's kin historical past and schooling; the position of faith and race in his existence and acceptance; his reports as useful musician (pianist, organist, string participant, conductor) and as instructor and composer; the severe reception of his works; and the vicissitudes of his posthumous popularity. The textual content additionally features a variety of hitherto unpublished sketches made by way of Mendelssohn. the result's a portrayal of the fellow and his achievements as considered via his personal phrases and people of his contemporaries.
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Additional resources for A Portrait of Mendelssohn
For information on his family’s relationship with FMB, see section 18. Biographical Notes ⅐ xxxiii one ⅐ The Man 1 ⅐ Appearance and Manner In the opinion of most of Mendelssohn’s contemporaries, none of his portraits succeeded in conveying the mercurial qualities that so frequently made his features fascinating and arresting. The impression he made on observers was strongly conditioned by his relationship to the observer and by his state of mind. ”3 The inadequacy of all Mendelssohn’s portraits was insisted upon by his English friend, the journalist Henry Fothergill Chorley, who remarked: “Nature had gifted her favourite with one of the brightest and most expressive countenances ever bestowed on Genius.
The last time we heard him discuss his future plans, he spoke with warm and eager anxiety of the liedertafel societies—which, owing to the spell of their political significance, seem, in Germany, gradually displacing the elder mixed musical festivals in which the amateurs of both sexes joined. ” Deeply marked, however, as was his nationality—it was neither morbid nor narrowing in its influences. We have never known a foreigner more honest in his love for—more discriminating in his appreciation of—England.
In 1846 FMB persuaded him to become principal professor of piano at the Leipzig Conservatory. Aus Moscheles’ Leben, compiled from his diaries by his widow, and Briefe von Felix MendelssohnBartholdy, edited by his son (FMB’s godchild), are important sources of information. Polko (ne´e Vogel), Elise (1823–1899). German musical biographer, novelist and singer. From 1840 she studied singing in Leipzig and often performed under FMB. At his recommendation she went to Paris in 1847 to study with Jenny Lind’s former teacher, Manuel Garcia.
A Portrait of Mendelssohn by Clive Brown