Music Composers

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartoldy--Part 11

After the first performance of his Midsummer Night's Dream in London, the score was left in a hackney coach and thus lost. Mr. Atwood, who had it in charge was in despair, but Mendelssohn did not mind it in the least and wrote it all over again promptly.

How much he was beloved by the public is evident from the fact that at the Gewandhaus concert which followed his engagement with Cecile the directors placed on the programme He Who a Lovely Wife Has Won from Fidelis and when the number was reached and Felix raised his baton the audience burst into a deafening applause, which continued a long time. It was their congratulations to their idol.

Ungentlemanly Modulations

Once when an English student had harmonized a theme for his correction, Mendelssohn observed in a surprised and disgusted tone: "Very ungentlemanly modulations!" From a man of refined manners like Mendelssohn this was a stern rebuke.

Once as he was passing by an old church Felix entered and incognito asked to try the organ. The aged sexton, a surly person with a sense of vast responsibility, refused. But Mendelssohn insisted on playing a few chords. Whereupon the wondering old man gasped in awe-struck and repentant tones, "And I would not let you play on my organ!"

To a young musician he wrote: "I have only one wish, that you may bring to light what exists within you in your nature and feelings, which none save yourself can know or possess. In your works go deep into your inmost being, and let them near a distinct stamp; let criticism and intellect rule as much as you please in all outward questions of form, but in all inner and original thought the heart alone and genuine feeling. So work daily, hourly and unremittingly - there you never can attain entire mastery or perfection - no man every did - and therefore it is the greatest vocation in life."

The Etude Magazine April 1920

 

 

 

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