Music Composers

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartoldy--Part 5

At this point Fanny's engagement to Hensel the painter was announced, and Felix felt deeply grieved at the coming separation from his beloved sister, to whom he had been so affectionately attached. Never surely did brother and sister understand each other more perfectly than these two. To relieve his mind Felix went to London where he conducted all his most important works. The English people were especially delighted with his Midsummer Night's Dream. As he planned to start for home he was thrown out of a carriage and for two months he was obliged to lie still.

In Italy

The next autumn Mendelssohn went to Italy. The wonders of Venice and the sunny spell of the Bay of Naples inspired him with new thoughts and he wrote or finished there many of his best compositions including the Italian Symphony, the Scotch Symphony, the Hebriden and the Walpurgisnacht, a setting of Goethe's famous poem.

In 1827 Mendelssohn tried his luck as an opera composer and wrote the Marriage of Camacho, which was performed at the Royal Theatre in Berlin. The house was crowded with benevolent friends and the applause was lively, but it was more a succes d' estime. Mendelssohn himself was not deceived by appearances and went home before the end of the opera. He never afterwards ventured again on the operatic field. His sound judgment helped him to recognize the limits of his genius.

His Songs Without Words, written 1828, brought him such immense popularity that in 1830, when he was 21 years old, a professorship at the Berlin University was offered to him. He declined the honor, however, and recommended for this position his friend Marx, whose livelihood was in that way provided for.

The Etude Magazine April 1920





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