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  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

MENDELSSOHN, (-Bartholdy), Felix
b Hamburg, 3 February 1809
d Leipzig, 4 November 1847, aged thirty-eight

He was the son of a Jewish banker, though he himself converted to Christianity later. His mother gave him the rudiments of music, and then he had various private teachers. His brother and two sisters were also accomplished musicians. He made his debut as a pianist in Berlin in 1818, at the age of nine, and from 1824 he also studied violin. In Paris in 1825 he won a wide circle of musical and poetic friends, and with his Octet and the Midsummer Night's Dream Overture the following year he established himself as a major composer. He also studied philosophy and geography. In 1829 he first visited Britain, going to Scotland and the Hebrides and meeting Sir Walter Scott. Afterwards he made a Grand Tour, taking in Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and France before returning to England in 1832. He next became conductor of the Lower Rhine Festival, reviving many neglected works, and in 1835 became musical director at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. He made further journeys to England in 1837 and 1840, playing and conducting, and becoming a favourite of Queen Victoria; his Scotch Symphony is dedicated to her. He became Kapellmeister in Berlin at the behest of Frederick William IV in 1841, and founded the Leipzig Conservatory in 1843. His many commitments affected his health, and after the first performance of Elijah in Birmingham he returned exhausted to Leipzig. He still continued to work, but a series of severe fits killed him.

1821 (12)

Piano Sonata No 2 in G minor

1822 (13)

Piano Quartet No 1 in C minor, Op 1

1823 (14)

Piano Quartet No 2 in F minor

Violin Sonata in F minor

1824 (15)

Piano Quartet No 3 in B minor

Symphony No 1 in C minor

1825 (16)

Wedding of the Camacho, comic opera

Trumpet Overture, for orchestra

String Octet in Eb major

Capriccio in F sharp minor for piano

1826 (17)

A Midsummer Night's Dream, overture

String Quintet in A major

Piano Sonata No 1 in E major

Six Songs (1826-7)

1827 (18)

String Quartet No 2 in A minor

Fugue in Eb major for string quartet

Piano Sonata No 3 in Bb major

p Seven Pieces for piano

1829 (2(1)

Die Heimkehr aus der Fremde, operetta

String Quartet No 1 in Eb major

Variations concertantes, for cello and piano, in D major

Three Fantasies for piano

Twelve Songs

1830 (21)

Symphony No 5, Reformation

Hebrides, concert overture

Twelve Songs

Six Songs

1831 (22)

Piano Concerto No 1 in G minor

Die erste Walpurgisnacht, for solo voices, chorus and orchestra

Song

1832 (23)

Meerstille (Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage), concert overture

Capriccio Brillant, in B minor, for piano and orchestra

Six Preludes and Fugues for piano (1832-7)

1833 (24)

Symphony No 4, Italian

Die schone Melusine, overture

Fantasy in F# minor, for piano

Three Capriccios for piano (1833-4)

1834 (25)

Rondo Brillant in Eb for piano and orchestra

p Songs Without Words, Book I for piano

Piano Sextet in D major

Three Studies for piano (1834-6)

Two Romances of Byron

Six Songs (1834-7)

Song

1835 (26)

p Songs Without Words, Book Il for piano

Two Sacred Songs

Two Songs after Eichendorff

1836 (27)

St Paul, oratorio

Etude in F minor for piano

1837 (28)

Piano Concerto No 2 in D minor

Three Organ Preludes and Fugues

Capriccio in E major for piano

Gondellied in A major, for piano

String Quartets No 4-5 in D: Em: Eb (1837-8)

Six Songs (1837-42)

1838 (29)

Serenade and Allegro Gioioso in B minor for piano and orchestra

Cello Sonata No 1 in Bb major

Piano Trio No 1 in D minor

Andante Cantabile, and Presto Agitato, in B major, for piano

1839 (30)

Ruy Blas, overture

Songs Without Words, Book III for piano

Six Songs

Song

1840 (31)

Lobegesang (Hymn of Praise), symphony-cantata (Symphony No 2)

Festgesang, for male chorus and orchestra

1841 (32)

Cornelius March

Songs Without Words, Books IV and VII for piano

Allegro Brillant, in A major for piano

Variations in B6 major

Variations in Eb major

Variations serieuses

Six Songs (1841-5)

1842 (33)

Symphony No 3, Scottish

Cello Sonata in D major (1842-3)

Songs Without Words, Book VIII, for piano (1842-5)

Kinderstiicke (Children's Pieces), for piano

1843 (34)

Athalie, incidental music

Andante in E major for string quartet

Scherzo in A minor for string quartet

Capriccio in E minor for string quartet

Songs Without Words, Books V and VI, for piano

1844 (35)

Violin Concerto in E minor

Hear My Prayer, for soprano, chorus and organ

p Six Organ Sonatas (1844 5)

1845 (36)

Piano Trio No 2 in C minor

String Quintet in Bb major

Songs Without Words, for cello and piano

1846 (37)

String Quartet No 6 in F minor

fp Elijah, oratorio

Lauda Sion, cantata

1847 (38)

Lorely, opera (unfinished)

Mendelssohn also composed:

1827-41 (27-32)

Prelude and Fugue in E minor, for piano

1827-47 (19-38)

Four Pieces for string quartet

Performed posthumously-

1852 Christus, oratorio (unfinished)

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