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Addressing the Mysteries of Mendelssohn


by Olin Chism 12 Jan 2009

In a couple of weeks, composer Felix Mendelssohn will be 200 years old. His childhood was as brilliant as Mozart’s (both also had highly gifted older sisters), and he was immensely popular in the 19th century, especially in England. Yet his star has dimmed lately, and no one is quite sure why. Is it just […]

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In a couple of weeks, composer Felix Mendelssohn will be 200 years old. His childhood was as brilliant as Mozart’s (both also had highly gifted older sisters), and he was immensely popular in the 19th century, especially in England. Yet his star has dimmed lately, and no one is quite sure why. Is it just a matter of fashion? — after all, his music is as great as it ever was. Or were there psychological factors that kept him from the very peak of greatness? Was there, perhaps, a scandal lurking? A couple of British articles, inspired by the bicentennial, address the mysteries.

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  • Mendelssohn also ‘rediscovered’ Bach and brought him back to favor. No small asccomplishment.