Research Paper

Topics: Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Sebastian Bach Pages: 4 (1616 words) Published: March 31, 2013
The Prodigy
The German composer Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, mostly famously known as Felix Mendelssohn was born on February 3rd 1809 in Hamburg Germany. Mendelssohn was one of four children growing up, the second oldest of the children right behind his sister Fanny. Mendelssohn was the son of a successful banker and the grandson of a well-known German Jewish Enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. Even though his grandfather was Jewish, his father grew up his family to be Lutherans. Mendelssohn and his family moved to Berlin in July of 1812, due to the fact his father Abraham was afraid that the French military would seek revenge on their bank, because the Mendelssohn bank played a role in stopping Napoleons Continental System. Mendelssohn was very blessed in growing up with the best education and began his musical education at the age of 6. Mendelssohn and his brother and sisters were given piano lessons by their mother. A year later he was then under the teachings of Carl Friedrich Zelter another German composer. In 1818 at around the age of 9 Mendelssohn began to perform in public playing pieces of music from composers Joseph Wolfl, Jan Ladislav Dussek, and Johann Bach. Mendelssohn’s biggest inspiration was from George Handel, Joseph Hayden, Wolfgang Mozart, but his biggest and probably his favorite composer was Johann composer. Even though they all came before Mendelssohn’s time listened and would examine works from all composers and find a way to use a certain technique from each one of these composer and make it his own. Being the unique child prodigy that many had referred to him as, Mendelssohn had composed 13 pieces of material by his early teens. One of Mendelssohn’s greatest performances had to have been in 1829 and in 1839 when he made a trip to England and played Johann Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Franz Schubert’s (Unfinished) Symphony No. 9 in public. He was given credit for reviving these pieces of music and playing...
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