Music Composers

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartoldy--Part 4

According to his biographies Felix was one of the most charming of beings. At eighteen he had the grace, the courtesty and the brilliancy of a cultivated man of the world. He loved outdoor life, rode horseback, was fond of swimming and indeed had a special passion for water as shown in three of his concert overtures; Fingal's Cave, Meerestille and Die Schone Melusine, Medelssohn declared once; "I think I love the sea better than the sky." He was also a skillful billiard player, danced exquisitely and everywhere he was admired and imitated.

An Expert Contrapuntist

Under the thorough training of Zelter, Felix became an expert contrapuntist and to write a fugue in the severe classical style was for him mere child's play. At seventeen he was already at the summit of his creative power and wrote then his immortal overture of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. When scarcely twenty years old he had composed his octet, three quartets for piano and strings, two sonatas, two symphonies, his first string quartets, various contatas and a great number of "Lieder" and ballads.

The eleventh of March, 1829, he directed Bach's Passion Music in Berlin Singakademie in spite of the opposition of Zelter, who did not like his chorus to sing under another conductor than himself. This work ws given for the first time since Bach's death. Felix said that it was strange that the people had waited for one who was born a Jew to revive this grand Christian work. The success was so overwhelming that the 21st of March the work had to be repeated under Mendelssohn's direction.

The Etude Magazine April 1920





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