A Portrait of Mendelssohn by Clive Brown

By Clive Brown

In view that his dying in 1847, Felix Mendelssohn's song and character were either sought after and denigrated to striking levels. during this learn Clive Brown weaves jointly a wealthy array of files - letters, diaries, memoirs, studies, information reviews and extra - with the purpose of proposing a balanced photo of the composer and his paintings. Rejecting the bought view of Mendelssohn as a facile, light-weight musician, Brown demonstrates that he used to be in reality an cutting edge and hugely cerebral composer who exerted a strong impression on musical concept into the 20 th century. Brown discusses Mendelssohn's kinfolk heritage and schooling; the function of faith and race in his existence and attractiveness; his studies as sensible musician (pianist, organist, string participant, conductor) and as instructor and composer; the serious reception of his works; and the vicissitudes of his posthumous attractiveness. The textual content additionally encompasses a diversity of hitherto unpublished sketches made by means of Mendelssohn. the result's a portrayal of the guy and his achievements as considered via his personal phrases and people of his contemporaries.

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After writing to Schumann in 1838 Kru¨ger regularly contributed to the Neue Zeitschrift fu¨r Musik. He also contributed to the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung and the Neue Berliner Musikzeitung. He appears never to have made FMB’s acquaintance. Ku¨hne, Gustav (1806–1888). German writer and journalist. From 1835 to 1842 he was editor of the Zeitung fu¨r die elegante Welt and from 1846 of Europa Chronik der gebildeten Welt. He may have been slightly acquainted with FMB. Lampadius, Wilhelm Adolf (1812–1892).

To his friends he was frankly devoted, exquisitely tender; it was indeed felicity to be beloved by Felix. At the same time it must be confessed that his affection was exclusive to the utmost; he loved only in the measure as he was loved. This was the solitary dark speck in his sunny disposition. He was the spoilt child of fortune, unused to hardship or opposition; it remains a marvel that egotism did not prevail more than it did over his inborn nobleness and straightforwardness. The atmosphere of love and appreciation in which he had been nurtured was a condition of life to him; to receive his music with coldness or aversion was to be his enemy, and he was capable of denying genuine merit in any one who did so.

His last words almost were ‘Oh pray, Mrs. ”52 How deep was his longing for the simple companionableness that the Horsley family represented, and how much he disliked pomp and ceremony, is indicated by his account of a visit on 7 September 1837 to the home of Fanny Horsley’s sister, Mary, who had married Isambard Kingdom Brunel. At seven in the evening to dinner at Brunel’s in the Park with Klingemann. O what should man request? If friends are not well, that causes distress, and if they are well, then there is still no lack of distress.

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