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About Felix Mendelssohn

Known in his time as a great conductor, Mendelssohn helped promote the works of Bach, which were largely forgotten by this time. Such respect for the beauties of musical form carried over into Songs without Words, each an individual gem (often studied by composition students) and lovely to hear for their lyricism and surprising alternatives to the expected melodic and harmonic turns. The works that have endured of this natural talent are primarily his orchestral pieces: the fresh lyricism and invention of the Midsummer Night's Dream overture and incidental music; the youthful energy and tone-painting of the "Scottish" and "Italian" symphonies; the brilliant Concerto for Violin & Orchestra in e, which has a noteworthy and appealing balance of classical and romantic writing; the thrilling, operatically dramatic oratorio Elijah, op. 70; also the skillfully written Octet for Strings in E-flat, which is light and floating on the strings. All these survive. I hope more of his solo piano music, which has great depth of feeling (for example, the Variations serieuses, op. 54), will someday be equally appreciated. ~ Blue Gene Tyranny

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