By Clive Brown
Due to the fact his dying in 1847, Felix Mendelssohn's song and character were either prominent and denigrated to awesome levels. during this examine Clive Brown weaves jointly a wealthy array of records - letters, diaries, memoirs, experiences, information stories and extra - with the purpose of featuring a balanced photo of the composer and his paintings. Rejecting the bought view of Mendelssohn as a facile, light-weight musician, Brown demonstrates that he was once actually an leading edge and hugely cerebral composer who exerted a strong impact on musical inspiration into the 20 th century. Brown discusses Mendelssohn's kin historical past and schooling; the position of faith and race in his existence and recognition; his reviews as functional 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 The textual content additionally contains a variety of hitherto unpublished sketches made by way of Mendelssohn.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
58 More extreme was Mendelssohn’s behaviour in 1829, on the eve of the performance of his liederspiel Die Heimkehr aus der Fremde, to celebrate his parents’ silver wedding anniversary. When a summons from the crown prince for Devrient to sing at court threatened to disrupt the occasion, Mendelssohn’s “excitement increased so fearfully, that when the family was assembled for the evening, he began to talk incoherently, and in English, to the great terror of them all. ”59 The same sleep remedy served Mendelssohn well in later years.
To spend any time in mere talk caused him to look frequently at his watch, by which he often Character and Personality ⅐ 15 gave offence; his impatience was only pacified when something was being done, such as music, reading, chess, &c. He was fond of having a leaf of paper and pen at hand when he was conversing, to sketch down whatever occurred to him. . Felix’s nature fitted him particularly for friendship; he possessed already then a rich store of intimates, which increased as he advanced in life.
He drew from Nature with great fidelity:—he kept close pace with the questions of the day and its literature, solid or ephemeral. Let it never be forgotten that he was intensely and affectionately German; regarding his country and its prospects with an interest impossible to counterfeit or conceal,—and anxious to employ his art as an instrument of peace, brotherly love and progress. 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.