Music Composers

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartoldy--Part 1

Has anybody realized that Mendelssohn is the most popular composer in America? Why, no marriage takes place, without him, or at least not without his famous Wedding March. Its theme is synonymous with nuptial benediction "for better for worse!" In the "movies," in Vaudeville a few notes from that composition brings better than any other suggestion a complete picture of the hymeneal altar before your eyes. Mendelssohn has married more couples than all the priests in the world taken together!

Emerson in his Compensations says that for what is given to us in exuberance on one side something else is taken away from the other - quid pro quo - give and take. We find this theory strikingly illustrated in Mendelssohn's career. Wealth, the most favorable opportunities, contentment and happiness were granted to him in the most lavish measure. His existence was almost entirely free from care and sacrifice. But just the absence of struggle and sorrow deprived his creations of that depth of feeling, of that dramatic intensity, of that note of tragedy which can only be expressed by those who have suffered, and which alone in the work of art stirs the innermost recesses of the listener and makes him weep, tremble, pulsate in sympathy with the composer.

Mendelssohn might have become a second Bach or Beethoven had he had enough suffering to fecundate his genius.

The Etude Magazine April 1920





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