The Best of Mendelssohn

As a performer I've had the chance to perform several of Mendelssohn's works, including the Violin Concerto in E-minor, and his fourth and fifth symphonies. I also play Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words regularly on the piano, just for my own enjoyment. If I had to choose, I would say the his third symphony is my favorite work of Mendelssohn, although the Hebrides Overture and the Octet in E-flat-Major also come close. Mendelssohn is a sometimes overlooked composer, so I've made a list of what I consider the best of Mendelssohn for you to explore.

A Short Biography

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic era. Mendelssohn began his musical studies at a young age and was a child prodigy whose musical talents rivaled those of Mozart. As a teenager Mendelssohn wrote some of his first masterpieces, including his Octet in E-flat-Major and the Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream. As an adult Mendelssohn made a career as a composer, pianist, and conductor, and as a conductor he helped to revive interest in the music of J.S. Bach. Mendelssohn also made trips to Italy, England, Wales, and Scotland, which influenced several of his compositions, including the Hebrides Overture, and his third and fourth symphonies.

What I Love About Mendelssohn

Mendelssohn's music is elegant and classically structured, yet influenced by romanticism. His music shows great melodic invention, and mastery of harmony and counterpoint, while still being musically evocative, such as capturing the mood and atmosphere of scenes of Scotland, or capturing the overall feeling of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in a short overture.

The Best of Mendelssohn:

Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream

Hebrides Overture (Fingal's Cave)

Symphony No. 3, “Scottish”

Symphony No. 4. “Italian”

Symphony No. 5, “Reformation”

Violin Concerto in E-minor

Songs Without Words (Lieder ohne Worte) – A set of 48 pieces for piano

Octet in E-flat-Major

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