Author Topic: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!  (Read 21598 times)

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snyprrr

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #41 on: May 14, 2011, 08:27:33 AM »
Felix Mendelssohn (Bartholdy) (1809-1847) - I just finished 'perusing' a book entitled Mendelssohn: A Life in Music by R. Larry Todd (a Professor of Music at Duke University and considered the world's expert on this composer); now, I say 'perusing' because the book is over 700+ pages in length, is quite detailed, and has much analyzes of Mendelssohn's (and others') music (which escapes my limits of understanding).

Although 2009 is almost over, this the the 200th Anniversary of Mendelssohn's birth, so certainly a time of celebration for this unfortunately 'short-lived' composer, musician, conductor, and artist; yes indeed he was multi-talented and really did so much in the few years he had on earth.  There are plenty of excellent biographies available, including an extensive Wiki ARTICLE and even his own Website HERE.

Some of the many interesting facts that I learned (or became reacquainted) from the new biography mentioned included: 1) Much more 'in depth' explanation of his conversion to Protestantism and acquisition of the additional surname Bartholdy (of course, his grandfather was the famous 18th century Jewish scholar, Moses Mendelssohn); 2) Extreme precocity of his musical talents in both performing on various instruments and in composing (e.g. he wrote the wonderful Octet & Overture to a Midsummer's Night Dream as a teenager); 3) His utterly close devotion and attachment to his older sister, Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-1847): 4) His strong desire to suppress the publication of Fanny's music, an unfortunate practice toward women composers of the times; 5) His phenomenal ability to improvise on the piano - just many stories (including private audiences w/ Victoria & Albert w/ quotes from her letters); and 6) Many more details of the early deaths of Fanny & Felix w/i 6 months from each other, and both from stroke(s) (I suspect that they likely had congenital vascular brain malformations or possibly aneuryms - just postulation on my part).

But this should be a celebration of the music of Felix Mendelssohn - and I could not find a thread dedicated solely to this composer (yes plenty of posts and some threads related to specific works), so let's hope that all who enjoy this talented individual will contribute.  Although I already own a LOT of his music, a renewed interest started with discovering the musical website Musica Omnia started by Peter Watchorn; my initial attraction was to purchase his Bach WTC recordings on the pedal harpsichord (WTC II to be released soon!); there I discovered a series of discs being released in honor of Mendenssohn on this bicentennial birth year; so far, I've purchased two and have a third 3-CDs set is on order, again about to be released; these are performed by the Atlantis Trio (and Ensemble) w/ Jaap Shroder on violin & Penelope Crawford on fortepiano - just excellent.  P.S. the liner notes for these recordings are written by Todd & are superb.

So, please add additional comments, historical events related to this composer, favorite works, and recording recommendations -  :D


   

 

What can you tell me about the Piano Trios, in general? What do you think are FM's Top3-4 Chamber Works?

DavidW

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #42 on: May 14, 2011, 09:51:33 AM »
What can you tell me about the Piano Trios, in general? What do you think are FM's Top3-4 Chamber Works?

His piano trios are great works, you should listen to them!  I think that his top 3 chamber works are his string quintets and his octet... well no octet is just a favorite of mine, I guess I would in his last string quartets.

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #43 on: May 14, 2011, 10:14:17 AM »
I am still trying to find time to start listening to this set, which arrived from Presto Classical some 2 months ago ...


Offline Lethevich

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #44 on: May 14, 2011, 10:24:25 AM »
His piano trios are great works, you should listen to them!

I second these, they are super!
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

snyprrr

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2011, 09:13:44 AM »
I second these, they are super!

His piano trios are great works, you should listen to them!  I think that his top 3 chamber works are his string quintets and his octet... well no octet is just a favorite of mine, I guess I would in his last string quartets.

I'm on it! ;)

Online The new erato

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2011, 09:20:26 AM »
A new release of potential interest:



MENDELSSOHN Incidental Music For Antigone, Oedipus, Athalia. Sabina Martin, Ann Hallenberg, Chorus Musicus Koln Das Neue Orchester / Christoph Spering, Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berlin / Stefan Soltesz. Briliant Classics 3cds

Offline Coopmv

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2011, 09:29:03 AM »
A new release of potential interest:



MENDELSSOHN Incidental Music For Antigone, Oedipus, Athalia. Sabina Martin, Ann Hallenberg, Chorus Musicus Koln Das Neue Orchester / Christoph Spering, Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berlin / Stefan Soltesz. Briliant Classics 3cds

Wonder if Mendelssohn was inspired by Handel Athalia in anyway.  I do have Handel Athalia in my collection ...

snyprrr

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #48 on: May 16, 2011, 09:41:09 AM »
I second these, they are super!

They are quite 'fleet', compared with the other Biggies. I like the c-minor's understated quality.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #49 on: May 17, 2011, 04:33:20 AM »
What can you tell me about the Piano Trios, in general? What do you think are FM's Top3-4 Chamber Works?

Snyprrr,

Well, coming in after others have posted but agree that the Piano Trios are wonderful works - the Musica Omnia releases (posted & quoted by you) are excellent performances w/ Penelope Crawford on fortepiano (Conrad Graf, Vienna, 1835); another favorite recording of these works is below, which I've had for a LONG time (maybe OOP?)!  But just looking briefly on Amazon, there are plenty of other releases (including the Florestan Trio).

As to his TOP chamber works - really will vary depending on one's preferences, e.g. do you only want strings, keyboard + strings, or other, like the clarinet recording that is also in my collection); for me I go love the piano works, the octet, & the string quartets - but I need to put on that clarinet disc - has been a while!  Dave  :D

 

snyprrr

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2011, 04:40:42 AM »
Snyprrr,

Well, coming in after others have posted but agree that the Piano Trios are wonderful works - the Musica Omnia releases (posted & quoted by you) are excellent performances w/ Penelope Crawford on fortepiano (Conrad Graf, Vienna, 1835); another favorite recording of these works is below, which I've had for a LONG time (maybe OOP?)!  But just looking briefly on Amazon, there are plenty of other releases (including the Florestan Trio).

As to his TOP chamber works - really will vary depending on one's preferences, e.g. do you only want strings, keyboard + strings, or other, like the clarinet recording that is also in my collection); for me I go love the piano works, the octet, & the string quartets - but I need to put on that clarinet disc - has been a while!  Dave  :D

 

I just ordered that old HM issue for the PTs ($3!!).

DavidW

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2011, 04:53:03 AM »
I just ordered that old HM issue for the PTs ($3!!).

HM=Harmonia Mundi=Florestan Trio?  Anyway bargain buy of the PTs = nice! :)

snyprrr

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #52 on: May 19, 2011, 06:31:27 PM »
I second these, they are super!

I got the Claret brothers on Harmonia Mundi. Why I've rejected these works in the part I can't fathom (I did see that I'd heard the Stuttgart group on Orfeo), but hearing them fresh today, I must call them winning on all levels. What's there to say about the music? It's familiar, whether you've heard it or not!

No.2 was dedicated to Spohr (!), and, I must confess I hear a similarity of 'coolness' in both Composers. It might be time to put Spohr in proper perspective.

Offline Brewski

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Sunday: all-Mendelssohn broadcast with Dudamel and LA
« Reply #53 on: October 04, 2011, 10:53:24 AM »
This Sunday, broadcast live in movie theaters (2pm Pacific, 5pm Eastern) - tickets here.

Janine Jansen, violin
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor and host
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3, “Scottish”

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Offline Leo K.

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #54 on: February 09, 2013, 07:43:31 AM »


A cheap download of Mendelssohn that I'm very happy with.

The orchestral works are first rate, but are generally not by the most famous names. But was impressed by the overall performance quality. Bitrates vary from 184 to 247 Kbps, with most in the 220s or 230s. Only two tracks are below 200 Kbps. I haven't come across any disappointing encoding artifacts or distortion so far -- quality seems good from a technical standpoint too. Total download size is a humongous 1.08 GB. Organ Sonatas. The parts of Mendelssohn's work that appear underrepresented are sacred and choral works, and songs. Psalm 42 is included in its entirety, and selections from "Three Psalms" and "Sechs Sprüche" for Choir. These offer a glimpse into this part of Mendelssohn's work.

But as with all these collections, it is always possible to argue about what is included and what is left out -- there is no way to satisfy everybody. The performances, as with most of the collections by X5 in its "Most Essential" series, of both Piano Concertos as well as both Concertos for Two Pianos. Only the double concerto for piano and violin is missing among the concertos. The set has a broad and satisfying selection of chamber music, including the Clarinet Sonata, the two excellent String Quintets, Piano Trio No. 1, the 1838 Violin Sonata, and two of the 12 String Symphonies he wrote as a child.

There is also a nice selection of organ music, with the Three Preludes and Fugues for Organ, and two of his six perhaps the heart of the set, with all but one of Mendelssohn's five symphonies included. Except for two symphonies performed by the Bamberg symphony Orchestra under Austrian conductor Han Swarowsky, they are by different orchestras and conductors. I really enjoyed the 1st Symphony performed by the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra under Maxim Shostakovich (Dmitri's son). The omnipresent Violin Concerto is performed ably by soloist Jaime Laredo and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the lesser-known Concerto for Violin and Strings is also here. There are good performances the compositions in this collection show, starting out with the first track ("The Hebrides"), that Mendelssohn really was a composer of depth with tremendous ability and a broad emotional palette -- including a good dose of melancholy, if not pathos. Check out the 5th Symphony, or the 1st. Or the concertos for one or two pianos. Or any number of chamber works, such as Piano Trio No. 1, early String Symphonies, or the sonatas. There is emotional range and depth to burn.

Offline Appy34

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Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #55 on: February 11, 2013, 01:23:42 PM »
What recordings of the Piano Trios do you all recommend?

Offline North Star

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #56 on: February 11, 2013, 01:26:11 PM »
What recordings of the Piano Trios do you all recommend?
Haven't listened to the recording in a while, or heard any other recordings, but the Trio Wanderer is really nice.

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jlaurson

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #57 on: February 11, 2013, 01:47:16 PM »
What recordings of the Piano Trios do you all recommend?

Leibniz Trio & Swiss Piano Trio.

Wanderer, too, is very nice, but a touch mellower.



F. Mendelssohn-B.
Piano Trios
Leibniz Trio

Genuin

German link - UK link


F. Mendelssohn-B.
Piano Trios
Swiss Piano Trio

Audite SACD

German link - UK link

Offline Leo K.

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Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #58 on: February 11, 2013, 02:57:36 PM »
Jens, what are your recommendations for the symphonies, or is there a link to a survey you have done?

jlaurson

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Re: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) - Bicentennial Celebration!
« Reply #59 on: February 11, 2013, 03:07:24 PM »
Jens, what are your recommendations for the symphonies, or is there a link to a survey you have done?

There was, on WETA, but that's no longer extant.

My very clear favorite (not the least for having the most competitive 2nd among complete sets) is Dohnanyi with the WPh, followed by Karajan with the BPh. Surprise bummer of the growing lot is Abbado / LSO, which I find inexplicably boring and dull. I'm looking forward to Chailly / Leipzig recording the whole cycle.