By Clive Brown
In view that his dying in 1847, Felix Mendelssohn's tune and character were either fashionable and denigrated to amazing levels. during this research Clive Brown weaves jointly a wealthy array of files - letters, diaries, memoirs, stories, information studies and extra - with the purpose of proposing a balanced photo of the composer and his paintings. Rejecting the acquired view of Mendelssohn as a facile, light-weight musician, Brown demonstrates that he was once in reality an leading edge and hugely cerebral composer who exerted a strong impression on musical suggestion into the 20 th century. Brown discusses Mendelssohn's relatives history and schooling; the function of faith and race in his existence and recognition; his stories 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 recognition. The textual content additionally features a diversity of hitherto unpublished sketches made via Mendelssohn. the result's a portrayal of the guy and his achievements as seen via his personal phrases and people of his contemporaries.
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Additional resources for A Portrait of Mendelssohn
12 The contrast between Mendelssohn’s slight build and his athleticism was commented on by many. ”13 He retained, in particular, a love of swimming and hiking. ”15 Descriptions from the early 1840s emphasize a number of prominent characteristics. ”16 Around the same time Elise Polko, a young girl already predisposed to hero-worship, also saw him for the first time. She recalled that “his grandly modelled head was at once impressed on my memory. . His hair was black and curling, the forehead of the highest order of intellectual beauty, the nose somewhat bent, the lips well chiselled, the shape of the face oval, the eyes irresistible, brilliant and spiritual.
See section 33. Willis, Richard Storrs (1819–1900). American writer on music, journalist and composer. After graduating from Yale in 1841 he went to Europe, where he studied music under Xavier Schnyder and Moritz Hauptmann for six years and made FMB’s acquaintance. Woringen, Ferdinand von (1798–1896). Prussian government official. Biographical details remain elusive. For information on his family’s relationship with FMB, see section 18. Biographical Notes ⅐ xxxiii one ⅐ The Man 1 ⅐ Appearance and Manner In the opinion of most of Mendelssohn’s contemporaries, none of his portraits succeeded in conveying the mercurial qualities that so frequently made his features fascinating and arresting.
He was an affectionate son and brother; an exemplary and devoted husband; a wise and indulgent father. He remained faithful to old friends, with a constancy rare even among those who are less brilliantly tempted to fickle- The Man ⅐ 10 ness. His wit was ready, his spirit as playful, as his sense was sound. While never was musician more keenly alive to the honour and beauty of his own art, few men have possessed tastes and sympathies embracing so wide a circle of pursuits and objects. He drew from Nature with great fidelity:—he kept close pace with the questions of the day and its literature, solid or ephemeral.
A Portrait of Mendelssohn by Clive Brown