Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Mendelssohn shout-out

Before it passes, let's take a moment for the 200th anniversary of Mendelssohn's birth. From the Songs Without Words:

I remember my mother playing these as a child--like Chopin they have this deep melancholy sound which you never really forget, and I was fascinated by the title.

A little later, Mendelssohn's Laudate Pueri was a beloved staple in the choir I sang in, as it was for so many other children's choirs:

Still later, I learned about the spectacular violin concerto. Here's Heifetz:

Something I read a little while ago was trying to distinguish between Mendelssohn and say, Wagner, by noting that however enjoyable Mendelssohn is, the history of music would nonetheless have progressed as it did. Maybe that's true, but, well, just see Matthew Guerreri in regards to this:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Mendelssohn tribute. He is one of the most underrated composers.

In the Songs without Words selection you present, I was struck by the 2nd selection (Op 38 No 6 "Duetto"). It is a piece I have struggled to play - it is so difficult to make each voice sound whole while keeping the rippling accompaniment flowing.

I think Richard Strauss must have loved this piece. Listen to 2:38-2:43 and then again at 3:05-3:11.
The harmonies point toward the Rosenkavalier trio.

I would love to see a staged version of Elijah. The opening of Part II, with the soprano aria, "Hear ye, Israel" leading into the chorus "Be not afraid" is one of the most moving passages of all of music.

Thanks for the Mendelssohn memories!