Donald Macleod journeys through the life of Felix Mendelssohn.

Mendelssohn was a leading figure of German music in his day, and became something of an international celebrity. He was at the very forefront of music making during the 1830s and 1840s, as a composer, conductor, pianist and organist. He began as a highly gifted and versatile prodigy, and rose to become one of Germany’s first rank composers of the early romantic period. He composed music in many genres including concertos, oratorios, symphonies, songs and chamber music. Amongst some of his most famous works are the highly evocative and dramatic overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and his mature and richly romantic Violin Concerto.

In Composer of the Week, Donald Macleod journeys through the life of Felix Mendelssohn, exploring in particular a number of influences upon the composer’s works: Mozart, his travels in Italy, Bach, his visits to London, and his wife and muse, Cecile.

Music featured:
Die beiden Padagogen
Duo Sonata in G minor
Piano Quartet No 2 in F minor, Op 2 (Allegro molto vivace)
Piano Concerto in A minor
Lieder ohne Worte, Op 19B No 6 (Venetianisches Gondellied)
Psalm 115 Non nobis Domine, Op 31
Nachspiel in D major
Symphony No 4 in A major, Op 90 (Italian)
String Symphony No 5 in B flat major (Allegro vivace)
Prelude and Fugue No 1 in E minor, Op 35
Paulus, Op 36 (Rise! Up! Arise!)
Organ Sonata in C minor, No 2 Op 65
Elijah, Op 70 (It is enough)
Sechs Lieder ohne Worte, Book 1 Op 19b (Moderato)
Daniel Barenboim, piano
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Overture)
Rondo Brillant, Op 29
Erntelied, Op 8 No 4
Pilgerspruch, Op 8 No 5
Elijah, Op 70 (For the mountains shall depart)
Sechs Lieder ohne Worte Op 38 No 6 (Duetto: Andante)
Ich wollt’ meine Lieb’ ergosse sich, Op 63 No 1
Herbstlied, Op 63 No 4
Prelude and Fugue in C minor, Op 37 No 1
Concerto in E minor for violin and orchestra, Op 64
String Quartet in E minor, Op 44 No 2 (Presto agitato)

Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Luke Whitlock for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Felix Mendelssohn:

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here:

from Composer of the Week