|Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
|Can You Guess? Mendelssohn wrote a piece that many young women long to hear on a very special day in their lives. Can You Guess the piece that frequently occurs at the end of a ceremony that almost everyone has heard?
Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
1736 - Johann Albrectsberger, Viennese composer and teacher of Beethoven, was born.
1867 - Premiere of Johannes Brahms' String Sextet No. 2, Op. 36, in Vienna.
1927 - Martin Lovett, US cellist and member of the Amadeus Quartet, was born.
1945 - Premiere of Igor Stravinsky's Scènes de ballet. New York Philharmonic, conducted by the composer.
2002 - Premiere of Philip Glass' Symphony No. 6. American Composers Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies at Carnegie Hall in NYC.
2002 - Premiere of Libby Larsen's Patterns for Orchestra by the Minnesota Orchestra
|Click Photo to find Mendelssohn's music on Amazon.com
|Felix Mendelssohn was born February 3, 1809 in Hamburg, Germany. He was the second child of a wealthy, conservative Jewish banking family who, after his birth, moved to Berlin.
At that time, many Jewish families joined the Protestant church to better fit in with German society. Felix's family did just that, and added "Bartholdy" to the family name.
Felix's grandfather was the famous philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, so Felix grew up in an atmosphere
of intellectual sophistication. It
|In 1833, Felix was appointed music director at Dusseldorf. In 1835, he took over the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, which he quickly made the musical capital of Germany. He enlarged the orchestra to 50 people and was known as a conductor of strict standards. Instead of playing the standard repertoire of the day, Mendelssohn performed the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt and Schumann.
Besides his Gewandhaus duties, he took over Berlin Academy of Arts concerts in 1841, and traveled widely as a pianist and guest conductor, as well as helping to set up festivals in Cologne and Dusseldorf. In 1842, Mendelssohn established the Leipzig Conservatory, where he and Schumann taught composition and piano. This activity put a tremendous strain on Felix. In May, 1847 he learned that his sister Fanny had suffered a stroke. He, too had a stroke from which he never fully recovered. Felix felt well enough to return to work in September of that year. However, he soon suffered another stroke which left him partially paralyzed. He died on November 4, 1847, at the age of 38.
Mendelssohn's legacy includes important works in every form except opera. Of the five full symphonies, oratorios, several concertos including two for piano, six string quartets, piano music, solo songs, part songs and theater music which includes the incidental music to a "Midsummer Night's Dream," which was completed to go with the 1843 Overture. And, of course, his Violin Concerto in E minor.
|Jascha Heifetz's Recording of the Violin Concerto in e minor is one of many Mendelssohn Recordings at Amazon|
|You are listining to a midi version of the first movement of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in e minor.|
|St. Patrick's Day is Coming! Will Your Irish Fiddle Pieces be Ready? See Fiddle Sheet Music by Clicking Here!|
|Did You Guess?
The Wedding March from A Midsummer Night's Dream is frequently played as the bride and groom leave the church.
|In 1831, Mendelssohn first came in direct contact with other composers in Paris. It took him a while to understand Chopin's music, and while he admired Schumann, he found his music strange. Schumann, however, called Mendelssohn the most perfect and technically adroit of the Romantics.|
|was said that Felix was a child prodigy every bit the equal of Mozart. By age 16 he had already written his Octet for Strings, and the Overture to a Midsummer Night's Dream was written when Felix was 17.
Felix first studied piano under his mother. He then studied harmony with Carl Friedrich Zelter. His performance debut occurred at age 9, and by 12 he had written sonatas, a piano trio, a cantata, two operettas and the first of his 12 string symphonies. His family hired an orchestra so that Felix could hear his music.
Felix's education was very broad. He painted well and spoke several languages. Mendelssohn attended Berlin University from 1826 to 1829.
In 1829, he the first performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion since Bach's death at the Singakadamiethe a key event in Mendelssohn's conducting career. 1829 was also the year he traveled to England where he performed Beethoven's Emperor concerto and became beloved by the English. The memories of his travels in the British Isles resulted in the Hebrides Overture and ten years later, the Scottish Symphony.