Music Composers

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartoldy--Part 3

All four children showed decided talent for music. Fanny became an accomplished pianist; Rebecca sang, and Paul played the violoncello. Soon, however, the exceptional gifts of Felix attracted general attention and although the prudent father consulted Cherubino in Paris, 1825, as to the future career of Felix the choice of his vocation had at that time already been made. The unlimited wealth of his father made it possible to engage a small orchestra composed of excellent players with whom Felix could rehearse his instrumental compositions.

This Happened Every Sunday

What a privilege to a young composer! As a matter of fact one of the greatest stumbling blocks of young (and old) composers is the lack of opportunity to hear their compositions rehearsed and performed. Eminent singers were engaged to produce the vocal compositions of young Mendelssohn. Among these was Eduard Devrient with whom Felix soon was bound in warm friendship.

The strong desire for knowledge which was the predominant characteristic of his nature prompted Felix to seek his friends - not among young men of his own age, but mostly among much older ones, such as Marx the musical aesthetic; Rietz the composer, and Moscheles the pianist. Two men especially had a distinct effect upon him and upon his works, Weber whose dignified and gently personality and genial music impressed Mendelssohn deeply, and Goethe the great poet to whom he was introduced by Zelter. Between the then old man and the young musician there sprang up a sincere and loving friendship. Felix visited his illustrious friend for several weeks at a time, and hour by hour he played to him while the old man listened enraptured to his music. Other famous guests at the Mendelssohn house were the two philosophers Hegel and Humboldt; Heine the master of satire, and Bettina Brentano immortalized by the friendship of Geothe and Beethoven. Thus Mendelssohn grew up encircled by the foremost representatives of the intellectual life of his country.

The Etude Magazine April 1920





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