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Mendelssohn(-Bartholdy), (Jacob Ludwig) Felix free

  • R. Larry Todd

(b Hamburg, Feb 3, 1809; d Leipzig, Nov 4, 1847). German composer. One of the most gifted and versatile prodigies, Mendelssohn stood at the forefront of German music during the 1830s and 40s, as conductor, pianist, organist and, above all, composer. His musical style, fully developed before he was 20, drew upon a variety of influences, including the complex chromatic counterpoint of Bach, the formal clarity and gracefulness of Mozart and the dramatic power of Beethoven and Weber.

Mendelssohn’s emergence into the first rank of 19th-century German composers coincided with efforts by music historiographers to develop the concept of a Classic–Romantic dialectic in 18th and 19th-century music. To a large degree, his music reflects a fundamental tension between Classicism and Romanticism in the generation of German composers after Beethoven.

1. Early years.

Mendelssohn's paternal grandfather was Moses Mendelssohn (1729–86), the pre-eminent Jewish philosopher of the Enlightenment in Germany (and colleague of G.E. Lessing, J.K. Lavater and Immanuel Kant), who had argued for religious tolerance and the assimilation of German Jewry into German culture. In 1787 the Prussian monarch, Friedrich Wilhelm II, granted a letter of protection (Schutzbrief) to the philosopher's widow and six children. Two of the children retained the Jewish faith, two (including Brendel, who married Friedrich von Schlegel in 1804) converted to Catholicism and two (including the composer's father Abraham, 1776–1835) converted to Protestantism. Mendelssohn's maternal great-grandfather was Daniel Itzig (1723–99), a wealthy court banker, who in 1791 obtained a royal patent that extended to his family, including his children and grandchildren, ‘all the rights of Christian citizens’ throughout Prussia.

In 1804 Abraham, in partnership with his brother Joseph, established the Berlin banking firm J. & A. Mendelssohn (which survived until its liquidation by the Nazis in 1938); in the same year he married Lea Salomon (1777–1842), a granddaughter of Daniel Itzig. The next year a branch of the bank was opened in Hamburg, where Abraham and Lea settled, and where three of their four children were born (Fanny in 1805, Felix in 1809 and Rebecka in 1811; the fourth, Paul, was born in Berlin in 1812). When Napoleon proclaimed the continental blockade against England in 1806, Hamburg became a centre of smuggling activities; to enforce the blockade, the city was annexed and occupied by the French on 1 January 1811. For reasons that remain unclear, Abraham Mendelssohn was forced to flee with his family to Berlin, where they arrived by July 1811. During the war of liberation in 1813 he equipped two Prussian battalions and after Napoleon's defeat in 1815 was among those sent to Paris to collect war reparations imposed by the allied coalition.

In 1812 the Prussian chancellor, Hardenberg, issued a decree (the Gleichstellungsgesetz, or emancipation act) extending further rights to Prussian Jews. Nevertheless, on 21 March 1816 the Mendelssohn children were secretly baptized into the Protestant faith and Felix was given the additional names Jakob Ludwig. But not until 1822 did Lea and Abraham Mendelssohn become Protestants. At the same time they added the surname Bartholdy (after the precedent of Lea's brother Jakob Salomon, who had converted to Christianity several years before and adopted Bartholdy, the name of a family dairy farm, as a surname; Jakob advised Abraham to use the name Mendelssohn Bartholdy ‘as a distinction from the other Mendelssohns'). In explaining his decision to his daughter Fanny, Abraham Mendelssohn noted in 1820 that the Christian faith ‘contains nothing that can lead you away from what is good, and much that guides you to love, obedience, tolerance, and resignation, even if it offered nothing but the example of its Founder, understood by so few, and followed by still fewer’.

The early musical education of Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny was overseen by Lea. In 1816 and 1817 the family visited Paris; there the children took piano lessons with Marie Bigot, whose technique had been admired by Haydn and Beethoven, and played chamber music with the violinist Pierre Baillot. In April 1817, in Frankfurt, the children met their aunt Dorothea von Schlegel, who reported that Felix played with genius and Fanny with a virtuosity beyond all comprehension. At this time Mendelssohn was evidently reading complex scores with ease and transposing at the keyboard studies by J.B. Cramer. By July 1818 he had completed his elementary schooling and his father, impressed by his talent for music and drawing, decided to engage a private tutor. His choice was a lecturer in history at the University of Berlin, G.A.H. Stenzel, who instructed both Felix and Paul in 1818 and 1819. About this time, the nine-year-old Felix began to study the piano with Ludwig Berger, a former pupil of Clementi. In October 1818 Mendelssohn appeared in public, probably for the first time, accompanying the horn players Heinrich and Joseph Gugel in a trio by Joseph Wölfl. The same year he performed J.L. Dussek's ‘Military’ concerto, evidently from memory; but this accomplishment was eclipsed by Fanny's rendition from memory (at the age of 13) of 24 preludes from Bach's Wohltemperirte Clavier.

By May 1819 Mendelssohn was studying the violin with the court violinist C.W. Henning, and attending with Fanny the Friday rehearsals of the Berlin Singakademie, where they heard the ‘most serious things’, namely, instrumental works by Bach and Handel. The following year he began to study the organ with A.W. Bach and (with Fanny) joined the Singakademie chorus; after his successful audition as an alto the director, Carl Friedrich Zelter, drily noted that the boy was ‘usable’ (brauchbar). The Singakademie had been founded in 1791 by Carl Fasch and was dedicated to the preservation and performance of 18th-century sacred choral music, especially that of Bach; an ancillary Ripienschule rehearsed instrumental music. On Fasch's death in 1800 the directorship passed to his pupil Zelter (the musical confidant of Goethe), who enjoyed a close association with the Mendelssohn family. By June 1819 Zelter was instructing Fanny in music theory and about this time he began to teach Felix as well. A surviving composition workbook documents his astonishing progress. Figured bass exercises, begun about July, were concluded in October and were followed in 1820 and early 1821 by a rigorous course of chorale, invertible counterpoint, canon, and fugue in two and three parts, all according to a method of instruction drawn from Kirnberger's monumental Kunst des reinen Satzes in der Musik (which had been written to disseminate Bach's pedagogical method). The workbook also preserves variation sets and sonata-form movements for piano and for piano and violin, carefully modelled on Haydn and Mozart. It is likely that Mendelssohn's early compositional essays included duo sonatas for piano that he played with Fanny; but the earliest datable composition is the Lied zum Geburtstag meines guten Vaters, performed in Berlin on 11 December 1819.

Autograph MS of Mendelssohn’s ‘Recitativo’, for piano and strings, 7 March 1820 (D-Bsb Mendelssohn Nachlass 1)

Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Berlin
Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Berlin

To tutor his children Abraham Mendelssohn procured the services of Karl Ludwig Heyse (father of the novelist Paul Heyse) and Felix's general education advanced rapidly. By the early months of 1821 he was reading Caesar and Ovid, and studying history, geography, arithmetic and French. No small measure of the youth's intellectual industry is recorded in a mock epic poem, Paphlëis (ed. in M.F. Schneider, E1961), drafted during the latter part of 1820 or the beginning of 1821, which relates in German dactylic hexameters the adventures of his brother Paul and affords an amusing glimpse of daily life in the Mendelssohn household. (Felix became an avid classicist; he later studied Greek with his sister Rebecka and in 1826 made a translation of Horace's Ars poetica, which he completed on 15 Oct; manuscript in D-B.)

2. Apprenticeship and early maturity, 1821–9.

Abraham and Lea Mendelssohn had supported without discrimination their children's musical pursuits, but by July 1820 Abraham had begun to temper Fanny's enthusiasm. He declared that though music might become a profession for Felix, it must remain only an ‘ornament’ for Fanny, for whom, in the Berlin high society of the 1820s, the idea of a profession was inconceivable. While Fanny's compositional outlets were confined in the main to the lied and piano miniatures, Felix essayed an ever broader range of genres, including keyboard, chamber and sacred choral works. Encouraged by his father, he now undertook his most ambitious project to date. Early in August 1820 he received a libretto for a Singspiel, Die Soldatenliebschaft, arranged from a French vaudeville by the doctor J.L. Casper; by early December the score, comprising an overture and 11 numbers, was finished. After a private reading, the Singspiel was performed fully staged, with orchestra, on 3 February 1821, the composer's 12th birthday. For this event a special theatre was constructed in a hall of the Mendelssohns’ home and the orchestra was recruited from the royal Kapelle.

Buoyed by this success, Mendelssohn dispatched in six weeks his second one-act Singspiel, Die beiden Pädagogen, with a libretto arranged by Casper from Eugène Scribe's comedy Les deux précepteurs. It was performed in March for his mother's birthday and in April for J.N. Hummel, who was giving concerts in Berlin. Comparing the two Singspiele, his mother found the new work to possess ‘more comic whim and a more mature execution’. Mendelssohn's productivity now took a sudden leap. The same year he completed some sacred choral works, including a setting of Psalm xix for the Singakademie (performed on 18 September 1821); six sinfonias for strings; a Piano Sonata in G minor (posthumously published as op.105); numerous fugues for string quartet; his third Singspiel, Die wandernden Komödianten; and possibly also a wedding cantata for a cousin. All these compositions were dutifully submitted to the critical judgment of his sister Fanny, whom he dubbed his Minerva.

Two events in 1821 proved critical for the young composer’s musical and intellectual development. On 18 June, at the opening of the rebuilt Berlin Schauspielhaus, he attended the première of Weber's ‘romantic opera’ Der Freischütz, which created a sensation in the German press, and a few days later he heard Weber's Concert-Stück for piano and orchestra. Then, in November, Zelter accompanied Mendelssohn to Weimar, where he introduced the prodigy to the septuagenarian Goethe. During a two-week visit Mendelssohn worked on the finale of Die wandernden Komödianten, made a sketch of the house of Lucas Cranach, practised an end-rhyme game with Goethe's daughter-in-law Ottilie and enjoyed daily conversations with the German ‘poet laureate’. In preparation for the trip Mendelssohn had developed his skill at improvisation and he was called upon to play for Goethe and for members of the Weimar ducal court and its Kapellmeister, Hummel. He obliged with several Bach fugues, the overture to Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro and his own compositions and improvisations, and read autographs of Mozart and Beethoven at sight (for illustration see Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von).

On his return to Berlin, he completed and prepared Die wandernden Komödianten. But a hand injury forced the delay of its private première, scheduled for March 1822, and he took up other projects. By then, he had already essayed nearly all the standard musical genres of the time. Thus, his fourth Singspiel, the three-act Die beiden Neffen (also known as Der Onkel aus Boston), was begun in May 1822 and finished in November 1823; by the end of 1823, he had completed his 13th string sinfonia; and between 1822 and 1824 he produced five concertos, one each for piano and violin and three double concertos (two for two pianos, which he performed with Fanny, and one for violin and piano). He continued to appear in public concerts, but his principal performance venue now came to be the lavish Sunday ‘musicales’ at the family home. Inaugurated by early 1822, these events attracted the cultural élite of Berlin, who came to hear Felix and Fanny perform, and to marvel at Felix's precocity as a composer. On 24 March, for example, Fanny performed a concerto by Hummel; Felix directed one of his sinfonias (probably from a piano) and, at the request of Prince Anton Heinrich Radziwiłł (patron of Beethoven), improvised on the subject of Mozart's Fugue in C minor k426.

In July 1822 the family departed for a Swiss holiday. En route Mendelssohn met several prominent musicians, including Louis Spohr in Cassel and the young Ferdinand Hiller and the choral conductor J.N. Schelble in Frankfurt. By this time Mendelssohn had begun to study drawing with the Berlin painter J.G.S. Rösel and he now produced some 50 meticulous drawings of scenic landscapes. The family reached Lucerne in August and, with a party of 34, climbed the Rigi, where they were fogbound for a day. Near Geneva, Mendelssohn began his Piano Quartet in C minor, which appeared in print as his op.1 the following year. Early in October, during the return to Berlin, his parents converted to the Protestant faith, and the family visited Goethe in Weimar. Likening himself to Saul and Mendelssohn to David, Goethe again enjoyed his improvisations, but also heard for the first time Fanny, who performed her own settings of Goethe's poems and Bach fugues.

In 1821 Fanny had met and fallen in love with the young court painter Wilhelm Hensel; on Christmas Eve 1822 Hensel gave her his self-portrait, along with a volume of poetry by his friend Wilhelm Müller (the poet of Die schöne Müllerin), who visited Berlin in July 1823. The same year the virtuoso pianist Frédéric Kalkbrenner was received at the Mendelssohn home, where he heard Fanny and Felix perform. In August Mendelssohn travelled to Silesia, accompanied by his father, brother and Heyse; and in Reinerz, where he visited his uncle Nathan Mendelssohn, he performed in a charity concert. The year ended with an eventful gift: Mendelssohn received from his grandmother Bella Salomon a copy of Bach's St Matthew Passion. The copy had been made by Eduard Rietz (Henning's replacement as Mendelssohn's violin teacher), possibly from a manuscript in Zelter's possession. (After some five years of preparation, Mendelssohn revived the work in the celebrated performance at the Berlin Singakademie in March 1829.)

Felix Mendelssohn: drawing by his future brother-in-law, Wilhelm Hensel, pencil, 14 November 1822 (D-Bsb Mendelssohn-Archive)

By early 1824 Die beiden Neffen was made ready for private performance and rehearsed on Mendelssohn's 15th birthday; Zelter took this occasion to acknowledge the end of his student's apprenticeship and to welcome him into the brotherhood of Bach, Mozart and Haydn. Meanwhile Mendelssohn was already considering a libretto for a new Singspiel, Die Hochzeit des Camacho, based on an episode from Cervantes's Don Quixote; composition of this work began in earnest in June. A significant stylistic shift is detectable in Mendelssohn's music from this year: though Zelter's brotherhood excluded contemporary figures such as Beethoven and Weber, Mendelssohn now began to assimilate elements of their styles, and of others, in a series of rapidly composed works, among them the Symphony no.1 op.11 and Double Concerto in A♭ for two pianos. Perhaps his most remarkable effort in 1824 was the Harmoniemusik for 11 wind instruments, composed in July for an ensemble at the Baltic resort Bad Doberan, where he took a cure with his father (the work was later revised and published as op.24). No less industrious was Fanny; in December, Zelter reported to Goethe that she had completed her 32nd fugue. Around this time Berlin musical life was stimulated by the visit of the virtuoso pianist Ignaz Moscheles, who gave concerts in November and December. Ever attentive to her children's needs, Lea Mendelssohn engaged him to give Fanny and Felix finishing lessons at the piano.

By March 1825 Mendelssohn had begun work on the second act of Die Hochzeit des Camacho, but further progress was interrupted by a trip he made with his father to Paris. On the way there they briefly visited Goethe in Weimar before they arrived on 22 March. The purpose of the journey was to accompany Abraham's sister, Henriette Mendelssohn, back to Berlin, but he seized the opportunity to solicit the opinion of Cherubini, the indomitable director of the Paris Conservatoire, about his son's professional prospects. At this time several virtuosos and composers were assembled in Paris, including the pianists Hummel, Moscheles, Kalkbrenner, J.P. Pixis, the Herz brothers and the 14-year-old Liszt; the violinists Baillot, Kreutzer, Boucher and Rode; the composer and theorist Antoine Reicha; and the opera composers Rossini, Paer, Auber, Catel and Halévy. The young Mendelssohn took his place among these ranks, performing his piano quartets in private soirées and sending to Berlin highly perceptive, if critical, letters about French musical life. Thus Auber's Léocadie (based, like Die Hochzeit des Camacho, on Cervantes) was dismissed for its over-reliance on the piccolo, the 14-year-old Liszt had ‘many fingers but not much intelligence’, Reicha was a huntsman who chased parallel 5ths and Cherubini an extinct volcano that occasionally spewed forth ash. For his part, the usually acerbic Cherubini astonished his colleagues by approving of Mendelssohn's piano quartets (‘Ce garçon est riche, il fera bien’, was the verdict); after examining a severely academic Kyrie in D minor for five-part chorus and orchestra, submitted by Mendelssohn in May, Cherubini urged Abraham to leave his son in Paris for further study.

During the return trip to Berlin they again visited Weimar and Mendelssohn performed for Goethe the Piano Quartet in B minor (published later that year as op.3 with a dedication to the poet). In August the score of Camacho was finished, and in September Mendelssohn was confirmed in the Protestant faith. By this time his family had moved from 7 neue Promenade, the house of Lea Mendelssohn's mother, Bella Salomon, to a new residence off the Leipzigerplatz. Purchased on 18 February 1825, 3 Leipzigerstrasse comprised a stately if dilapidated mansion, an imposing courtyard and gardens, stables and summerhouse. Renovations of the main structure continued throughout the summer and autumn, while the family took up temporary quarters in the summerhouse. It was probably there that Mendelssohn composed his first indisputable masterpiece, the Octet op.20, finished on 15 October and written for Eduard Rietz, whose influence is perceptible in the florid first violin part. As he was creating this extraordinary work, Mendelssohn was also preoccupied with his classical studies: by mid-October he finished a metrically accurate German translation of Terence's comedy, The Woman of Andros, which Heyse, his tutor, published anonymously the following year (Das Mädchen von Andros, Berlin, 1826).

3 Leipzigerstrasse became a musical and cultural centre for an ever widening circle of acquaintances. Visitors included the poets Heinrich Heine and Karl von Holtei, Ludwig Börne, the philosopher Hegel, the classicist August Böckh, and the scientist Alexander von Humboldt, who later erected a small structure in the garden for recording magnetic measurements. Among Mendelssohn's friends were the music critic and theorist A.B. Marx, the philologist J.G. Droysen, and the pastor Julius Schubring, who later collaborated with the composer on the librettos of St Paul and Elijah; friends who rented rooms at the house included the actors Eduard and Therese Devrient, and Carl Klingemann, a clerk at the Hanover legation. During the summer months the Mendelssohn children maintained a mock literary journal, the Gartenzeitung, and, according to Sebastian Hensel, ‘led a fantastic, dreamlike life’. They read voraciously the novels of Jean Paul and the plays of Shakespeare, reissued in 1825 in the German translations of Ludwig Tieck and A.W. von Schlegel. In July 1826 Mendelssohn wrote to his sister that he would soon begin to ‘dream the Midsummer Night's Dream’; by early August he had finished his remarkable concert overture, ‘the most striking example’, according to Bernard Shaw, ‘of a very young composer astonishing the world by a musical style at once fascinating, original and perfectly new’. The overture was first performed privately at the Mendelssohn residence; in November, Felix and Fanny rendered it as a piano duet for Moscheles, who was again giving concerts in Berlin.

After considerable delay and against the opposition of Spontini (the Generalmusikdirektor) Die Hochzeit des Camacho was placed in rehearsal at the beginning of 1827. In February Mendelssohn visited Stettin in Pomerania, where the Midsummer Night's Dream overture received its public première under Carl Loewe; there Mendelssohn performed in public Weber's Concert-Stück and (with Loewe) his own Double Piano Concerto in A♭ and, in private, Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata from memory. By April, as Mendelssohn prepared to take an entrance examination for the University of Berlin, Camacho was made ready for its première at the Schauspielhaus. Intrigues against the work, the illness of the principal singer and the weakness of the libretto mitigated against its success, and it was withdrawn after only one performance (29 April), the composer's only opera to reach the public stage.

During the summer semester of 1827 Mendelssohn matriculated at the University of Berlin, in order to receive an education, as his mother observed, ‘so often lacking in musicians’. He attended the lectures of Eduard Gans in legal history and Carl Ritter in geography, and, during the winter semester of 1828–9, Hegel's lectures on aesthetics. Between terms Mendelssohn enjoyed an extended holiday, from late August to mid-October 1827, with two student companions. Their itinerary led them to the Harz mountains, Thuringia and Franconia, and then to Heidelberg, Frankfurt (where they were joined by Ferdinand Hiller) and Coblenz (where they visited Mendelssohn's uncle). Mendelssohn divided his time between sketching, working on the String Quartet in A minor op.13, and meeting several musicians, among them Gottfried Weber and Lindpaintner. In Heidelberg Mendelssohn discussed 17th- and 18th-century settings of Tu es Petrus with Justus Thibaut, who had argued in Ueber Reinheit der Tonkunst (Heidelberg, 1825) for a ‘pure’ style modelled on the choral music of Palestrina and Handel. Mendelssohn's own, neo-Baroque setting of Tu es Petrus was presented to Fanny on her birthday in November 1827, and by Christmas he had prepared two more musical gifts: a toy symphony (Kindersymphonie) for Rebecka (a second followed a year later) and a setting of Christe, du Lamm Gottes, the first in a series of cantatas in the style of Bach, for Fanny.

A second cantata, Jesu, meine Freude, followed within weeks, again a product of the composer's Bachian pursuits (in January 1828, Mendelssohn was able to examine part of the estate of W.F. Bach, rich in autographs of J.S. Bach's cantatas). But these efforts were overshadowed by the momentous decision to revive the St Matthew Passion. For several years, Mendelssohn had assiduously examined the work, but had been discouraged from performing it by Zelter, who viewed the task as insurmountable. Prompted by Eduard Devrient, Mendelssohn now overcame Zelter's objections, and in October 1828 rehearsals began in earnest at the family residence. The historical spirit that marked this effort found expression in other projects as well. Around the same time Mendelssohn undertook for Zelter arrangements of Handel's Acis and Galatea and ‘Dettingen’ Te Deum; and in December he completed Hora est, for 16-part chorus and organ continuo, inspired by the 17th-century Italian polychoral tradition and by a 16-part Mass by the Singakademie's founder, Carl Fasch.

During most of 1828, Mendelssohn remained in Berlin, where he composed two secular cantatas. The first was hastily written in honour of Albrecht Dürer, the 300th anniversary of whose death was commemorated in April. The second, Begrüssung, commissioned by Alexander von Humboldt, was performed in September for a gathering of physicians and natural scientists (on this occasion, Mendelssohn may have met Chopin, then visiting Berlin). From the same year date Mendelssohn's earliest Lieder ohne Worte for piano solo (the first was evidently written as a birthday present for Fanny), and the concert overture Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt. The latter, inspired by Goethe's two short poems, was conceived, according to Fanny, as two ‘tableaux’ (significantly, about this time Mendelssohn began to study painting); it was performed privately at 3 Leipzigerstrasse during the summer.

3. Years of travel and the Grand Tour.

The new year found the young composer contemplating a grand musical tour of Italy, France and England, in order, as he explained to Moscheles, to refine and cultivate his own taste. On 22 January 1829 Fanny became engaged to Wilhelm Hensel. Meanwhile preparations for the centenary revival of the St Matthew Passion continued, and it was performed on 11 March to critical acclaim at the Singakademie, with Mendelssohn conducting from a piano; against the opposition of Spontini, a second performance was ordered by the Crown Prince for Bach's birthday (21 March). On 10 April, accompanied by his father and his sister Rebecka, Mendelssohn departed for Hamburg, where he stayed for several days with Salomon Heine, uncle of the poet. After a difficult crossing of the English Channel Mendelssohn arrived on 21 April in London; he was greeted by Klingemann and soon introduced by Moscheles to English concert life.

Initially, Mendelssohn refrained from appearing in public concerts, electing instead to perform as a pianist at private gatherings. He mingled with musicians such as Sir George Smart, J.B. Cramer, Moscheles, Thomas Attwood, Dragonetti, Malibran and the critic Fétis. He visited the House of Commons and St Paul's Cathedral, consulted with the phrenologist J.C. Spurzheim (who examined his skull and made a plaster mould), studied Handel's autograph manuscripts at the King's Library in the British Museum, attended productions of Shakespeare's plays (including Kemble's performance of Hamlet), and appeared at fashionable balls. But on 25 May Mendelssohn made his official English début by conducting his Symphony in C minor op.11 at the seventh concert in the Philharmonic Society's season (for the occasion, he replaced the minuet with a new orchestral arrangement of the scherzo from the Octet). The work was repeated on 10 June, and on Midsummer's Day (24 June) Mendelssohn conducted the English première of his overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream (a reviewer found it ‘sparkling with genius and rich in effect … the whole indicating that the musician has studied the poet, entered into his thoughts, and even caught some of his imagination’); a second performance followed on 13 July. During this season Mendelssohn also appeared publicly as a pianist, performing Weber's Concert-Stück, Beethoven's ‘Emperor’ Concerto and, with Moscheles, his own Double Concerto in E major. He was commissioned to compose an opera for Covent Garden and made progress on his String Quartet in E♭ op.12.

With the end of the London concert season Mendelssohn was free to travel, and in July he departed with Klingemann for a walking tour of Scotland. In Edinburgh, where they arrived on 26 July, he attended an assemblage of bagpipe musicians and, at Holyrood Palace, found the inspiration for the opening of the Scottish Symphony (no.3). After a short visit to Sir Walter Scott, whose authorship of the Waverley novels had recently been revealed, the two began their tour of the Highlands, with Mendelssohn sketching memorable landscapes and Klingemann composing verses. On 7 August they arrived at Oban, on the western coast; there, looking out at the Hebrides, Mendelssohn found the germinal idea for the overture Die Hebriden. The following day they visited Fingal's Cave on the island of Staffa and the equally desolate island of Iona, settled by St Columba in the 6th century. After returning to the mainland they proceeded to Glasgow before separating at Liverpool. Klingemann returned to London, while Mendelssohn travelled to Wales, spending several days with the family of John Taylor, a proprietor of lead mines; during a visit to one of the mines Mendelssohn contemplated his Reformation Symphony. On 6 September he returned to London. Within a week he had finished the String Quartet op.12 and began preparations to return to Berlin, in order to attend Fanny's wedding on 3 October. But in the middle of September his leg was lacerated in a coach accident and he was confined for several weeks to his room, where he copied Handel's Dixit Dominus for Zelter. After a recuperative visit to Attwood in Norwood, he left London near the end of November.

Since August, Mendelssohn had planned to compose a Liederspiel for his parents’ silver wedding anniversary in December. Klingemann provided the libretto, and Mendelssohn rapidly began to draft the music on the way to Berlin, where he arrived on 8 December. Titled, appropriately enough, Heimkehr aus der Fremde, it was finished on 19 December, quickly rehearsed, and performed, along with a new Festspiel by Fanny, on 26 December; among the guests attending the private celebration was the Swedish composer Franz Berwald. The beginning of 1830 found Mendelssohn at work on the Zwölf Lieder op.9, which were sent to the publisher in February, and the Reformation Symphony (finished on 12 May). By late March, he was ready to depart on an extended Italian visit, but he contracted measles and could not leave until mid-May. In Leipzig he saw Marschner and the theorist Heinrich Dorn, and established a relationship with the publishing firm Breitkopf & Härtel. He then paid a two-week visit to Goethe in Weimar, where he was invited to contribute to the mock-literary journal Chaos, and debated with the poet the virtues of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. In exchange, Goethe gave his young friend a manuscript page from the second part of Faust. In June, Mendelssohn proceeded to Munich. He remained there until early August, appearing in private gatherings with the clarinettist Heinrich Bärmann and flirting with the pianist Delphine von Schauroth, to whom he inscribed the Rondo capriccioso op.14. After a brief holiday in the Bavarian Alps with A.B. Marx (they attended a performance of the Oberammergau Passion Play), Mendelssohn travelled via Salzburg to Vienna, arriving there in mid-August. Among his Viennese acquaintances were the poet Grillparzer, the composers Mayseder and Gyrowetz, the publisher Haslinger, the theorist Simon Sechter, the music historian Kiesewetter and the autograph collector Aloys Fuchs (who gave Mendelssohn the Beethoven ‘Wittgenstein’ sketchbook). From the baritone Franz Hauser he received a volume of chorale melodies, a gift that revived his interest in sacred music. Before leaving Vienna he composed a ‘very grave little sacred piece’, a Bachian chorale cantata, O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden, and began a setting of Ave Maria (op.23 no.2). In October he visited Venice, where he sketched for Delphine von Schauroth the first Venetianisches Gondellied (op.19b no.6) and drafted a second cantata, Aus tiefer Noth (op.23 no.1), before proceeding to Florence. He spent much of his time in Venetian and Florentine galleries, absorbing the treasures of Italian Renaissance and baroque art.

On 1 November Mendelssohn arrived in Rome and soon composed several sacred works, including an elaborate setting of Psalm cxv (after the Vulgate text, Non nobis, Domine, op.31); four more chorale cantatas, Mitten wir im Leben sind (op.23 no.3), Verleih’ uns Frieden, Vom Himmel hoch and Wir glauben all’ an einen Gott; and two motets (op.39 nos.1 and 3). He consulted the Palestrina scholar Giuseppe Baini, examined the library of Fortunato Santini (rich in Italian sacred polyphony) and visited the former residence of his uncle Jakob Bartholdy, the Casa Bartholdi, where he saw the frescoes of the ‘Nazarene’ painters. He became friendly with Berlioz, but found the Symphonie fantastique hyperbolic and wanting in taste. To Berlin he sent detailed reports of the requiem service for Pius VIII and the accession of Gregory XVI; Carnival in February; the Easter services in the Cappella Sistina, where the Papal choir performed Allegri's Miserere; and the work of several artists, including the Frenchman Horace Vernet, the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and several German painters. While in Rome Mendelssohn also finished the first draft of his Hebrides overture (as Overtüre zur einsamen Insel, announced as a birthday present for his father on 11 December), contemplated ideas for the Italian and Scottish symphonies, and began to draft a setting of Goethe's ballade Die erste Walpurgisnacht.

In April 1831 Mendelssohn visited Naples, where he met Donizetti and renewed his friendship with Weber's pupil Julius Benedict. He explored the Isle of Capri, Pompeii and Vesuvius, and, accompanied by the German painters Wilhelm Schadow, Theodor Hildebrandt, C.F. Sohn and Eduard Bendemann, sketched Italian landscapes and seascapes. After briefly returning to Rome in June he departed for Florence and by early July reached Milan. He socialized with the pianist (and friend of Beethoven) Dorothea von Ertmann, with Glinka and with Mozart's son Franz, who was among the first to hear parts of the newly drafted cantata Die erste Walpurgisnacht. By the end of July Mendelssohn reached Switzerland, and after witnessing serious flooding in the Bernese Oberland returned to Munich in September. He improvised at the piano before the Bavarian queen, gave counterpoint lessons to the talented composer of lieder Josephine Lang and gave the première of the hastily composed Piano Concerto in G minor (op.25). A commission to compose an opera for Munich led him to consult the playwright Karl Immermann in Düsseldorf, about a libretto based on Shakespeare's The Tempest; then he proceeded to Paris, where he arrived on 9 December 1831.

Again, as in 1825, Mendelssohn sent to Berlin perceptive accounts of French cultural life. He reported on his contacts with Chopin, Kalkbrenner, Ferdinand Hiller, Meyerbeer, Heine, the violinist Pierre Baillot and the conductor Habeneck. While there he also completed the last of his chorale cantatas, Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh’ darein; at the Conservatoire his Octet and Midsummer Night's Dream overture were given; and he was heard by the court in a performance of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto. But there were several disappointments as well. The Reformation Symphony was rehearsed but rejected for performance. Mendelssohn found much of French opera too contrived (of the diabolical Bertram in Meyerbeer’s Robert le diable he quipped, ‘the devil is a poor devil’). Equally offensive to him were the utopian doctrines of the Saint-Simonians, whose meetings he briefly attended. He was deeply depressed by the death of his boyhood friend Eduard Rietz, in whose memory he composed a new, poignant slow movement (the Intermezzo) for the String Quintet op.18. In March came the news of Goethe's death, and in Paris there was an outbreak of Asiatic cholera, which Mendelssohn contracted.

After his recovery he went to London, arriving on 22 April 1832. There he performed his new compositions for Moscheles and participated fully in English musical life. The first volume of the Lieder ohne Worte (op.19b) was prepared for publication (it appeared in July with the title Original Melodies for the Pianoforte) and the revisions of the Hebrides overture were finally completed (the work was given its première by the Philharmonic Society on 14 May as The Isles of Fingal). Mendelssohn frequently appeared as a piano soloist and with Moscheles performed Mozart’s Double Concerto k365/316a. But again news of a death, this time Zelter's, cast a pall on Mendelssohn's spirits and he returned to Berlin at the end of June.

His career prospects remained uncertain. Though his father encouraged him to apply for the directorship of the Singakademie, Mendelssohn found objectionable a proposal from that institution that he share the post with a person of considerably lesser talent, C.F. Rungenhagen. He rejected Immermann's opera libretto for Munich and instead considered composing an oratorio. For A.B. Marx he drafted an oratorio libretto on Moses, but in turn was discouraged by Marx from pursuing an oratorio on St Paul. In October his spirits were raised by a short visit from Moscheles, and in November, December and January he gave three charity concerts, which included the premières of the Reformation Symphony and Die erste Walpurgisnacht.

4. Düsseldorf, 1833–5.

On 22 January 1833 the membership of the Singakademie voted to offer the directorship to Rungenhagen; Mendelssohn declined to serve as assistant director and instead pondered new opportunities from London and Düsseldorf. These included a commission of three works (a symphony, an overture and a vocal work) for the Philharmonic Society and the directorship of the 15th Niederrheinisches Musikfest. By mid-March the Italian Symphony was drafted, and several incidental pieces for a production of Calderón's El príncipe constante were dispatched to Immermann. After a short visit to Düsseldorf, Mendelssohn arrived in London on 25 April. With Moscheles he concocted and performed a set of variations on the Gypsy March from Weber's Preciosa. He appeared in private gatherings with Paganini, improvised on the organ in St Paul's Cathedral, and led the official première of the Italian Symphony on 13 May, before returning to Düsseldorf to conduct the festival from 26 to 28 May. The highlight was a performance of Handel's Israel in Egypt, for which Mendelssohn's own ‘Trumpet’ Overture op.101 was pressed into service.

Mendelssohn was now offered a three-year position as the Düsseldorf music director, to begin on 1 October 1833. His duties would include conducting the choral and orchestral societies and the sacred music for Catholic services. As remuneration he would receive a salary of 600 thalers and an annual three-month leave. Before taking up this post he travelled to London with his father. There they remained until early September, visiting English friends and sightseeing in Greenwich, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

Early during his Düsseldorf tenure Mendelssohn arranged a lavish entertainment for the visiting Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, in which tableaux vivants were presented with choruses from Israel in Egypt. For this occasion (22 October) members of the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie collaborated, including Hildebrandt (who painted Mendelssohn's portrait), J.W. Schirmer (with whom he studied watercolours) and Schadow (in whose house he resided). In November the second London commission, the overture Die Schöne Melusine (inspired by an opera of Conradin Kreutzer), was finished. Meanwhile, Immermann, endeavouring to found a new German theatre, encouraged Mendelssohn to mount ‘master’ productions of operas and staged works. The first, Mozart's Don Giovanni, was given on 19 December after 20 rehearsals, but a controversy about ticket prices led to a disturbance, and tensions soon emerged about the division of responsibilities between Immermann and Mendelssohn. In January 1834 Mendelssohn directed Beethoven's incidental music to Goethe's Egmont; other productions included Cherubini's Les deux journées, Weber's Oberon and Der Freischütz, and Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Die Zauberflöte. On 15 March he agreed to serve as the musical Intendant for Immermann's new theatre, which officially opened in October. Not surprisingly, Mendelssohn's involvement with the stage led him to consider once again writing an opera. He corresponded extensively with Klingemann about a libretto based on Kotzebue's Pervonte, but, like so many of Mendelssohn's other operatic ambitions, the project did not come to fruition.

Each month for the Düsseldorf church services Mendelssohn prepared a major sacred work; his repertory was drawn from masses by Mozart, Haydn, Cherubini and Beethoven, and from the cantatas of Bach. He also explored choral music of earlier historical periods, including works by Palestrina, Lotti and Francesco Durante. But Mendelssohn's principal energies as a choral conductor were devoted to reviving the oratorio, including Haydn's The Seasons and The Creation, and several works by Handel (Alexander's Feast, Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, Solomon and the ‘Dettingen’ Te Deum). These pursuits strengthened his resolve to undertake his own first oratorio, St Paul, based on The Acts of the Apostles, for which he consulted with Julius Schubring and Julius Fürst. Composition began in earnest in March 1834; around this time, Mendelssohn also revised the overture Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt and the Italian Symphony, and completed the third London commission, the concert aria Infelice (op.94).

In October, after visiting his parents in Berlin, Mendelssohn stopped briefly in Leipzig, where he heard the Gewandhaus orchestra rehearse Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt. Dissatisfaction about his position in Düsseldorf now became intolerable and he asked to be relieved from directing church music and from his responsibilities in Immermann's theatre. By January 1835 he was mulling over two new offers: to direct the opera in Munich and the Gewandhaus and Thomasschule in Leipzig; he was also offered the editorship of the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, the house journal of the music publisher Breitkopf & Härtel. Ultimately, he decided in favour of Leipzig, where he agreed to serve as the municipal music director and to conduct the Gewandhaus orchestra; in exchange, he was paid a salary of 1000 thalers and granted an annual leave of six months. After directing the Niederrheinisches Musikfest in Cologne, which featured a performance of Handel's Solomon, Mendelssohn gave his last concert in Düsseldorf in early July. Before assuming his new post he visited Berlin, and witnessed in August an insurrection against the military authorities. At the end of the month he arrived in Leipzig, where he met Schumann, renewed his acquaintance with Friedrich Wieck and his 16-year-old daughter Clara, and was visited by Chopin. On 13 September he was formally introduced to the members of the Gewandhaus and held his first rehearsal, the beginning of an illustrious 12-year association with Leipzig.

5. Leipzig, 1835–40.

At the Gewandhaus Mendelssohn conducted each year a subscription series of 20 concerts that ran from October to March. These were supplemented by concerts given by visiting virtuosos, charity concerts and a series of chamber concerts (promoted as ‘Morgen-’ and ‘Abendunterhaltungen’). With indefatigable energy Mendelssohn presided over what now became one of the most prestigious European orchestras. He participated not only as a conductor but as a pianist, and worked to improve musical standards (for which he was championed by Schumann in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik) and the status of the musicians in the ensemble. At the Gewandhaus he performed many of his own works and of contemporaries such as Schumann, Hiller, Spohr, Moscheles, Gade and William Sterndale Bennett. His programming showed a predilection for Beethoven and Mozart (Haydn figured to a lesser extent), and reinforced the consolidation of the German Classical instrumental repertory. Though Mendelssohn did not mount full operatic productions in Leipzig, he performed concert versions of complete acts from standard operas (Mozart, Gluck, Cherubini and Beethoven) and excerpts from contemporary French, German and Italian works. The programme of his second concert for the 1835 season (11 October) is representative: it included Mozart's Symphony no.39 and the finale to Act 2 of Don Giovanni, and Moscheles's concert overture Jeanne d’Arc and virtuoso piano duet Hommage à Händel (performed by Moscheles and Mendelssohn); it thus offered a mixture of instrumental and vocal music, and ‘classical’ and contemporary music.

On 19 November 1835, only six weeks into the new concert season, Mendelssohn's father died. Shattered by the loss, Mendelssohn rededicated himself to completing St Paul, which his father had awaited as a work that would ‘unite old customs with modern means’. After receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Leipzig in March 1836, he put the finishing touches to the oratorio and left Leipzig on 1 May. On the way to Düsseldorf, where he was to direct the 18th Niederrheinisches Musikfest, he stopped in Frankfurt to visit Schelble and met Cécile Jeanrenaud, the daughter of a Huguenot minister. The festival opened on 22 May (Pentecost Sunday) with the première of St Paul; on the next day Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and first Leonore overture were given; and on the 24th an additional concert was arranged in which the oratorio was repeated, and Mendelssohn and Ferdinand David performed Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata from memory. The festival was the signal event that assured Mendelssohn's emergence, at the age of 27, into the front rank of German musicians and secured his international fame; St Paul was accepted as a milestone in the revival of the oratorio.

Mendelssohn had planned an Italian holiday but, concerned about Schelble's ill-health, offered to deputize for him at the Cäcilienverein during the summer. In Frankfurt Mendelssohn deepened his acquaintance with Cécile Jeanrenaud and enjoyed contacts with his aunt Dorothea von Schlegel, and with Hiller and Rossini (the latter encouraged him to adopt a more popular tone in his scores). By the end of July, he was clearly in love with Cécile and resolved to test his affection for her by absenting himself and taking a cure at Scheveningen, near The Hague. There, accompanied by Schadow and Schirmer, he made drawings and considered an oratorio on the subject of Elijah. He returned to Frankfurt at the end of August 1836 and was soon engaged to Cécile.

The new concert season featured the young English pianist and composer Sterndale Bennett, who performed at the Gewandhaus on several occasions. For the final concert (16 March 1837) Mendelssohn conducted the revised version of St Paul. He then hastened to Frankfurt, where he married Cécile on 28 March. They spent their honeymoon in Freiburg and the Schwarzwald, returned to Frankfurt in May and visited Bingen and Coblenz in July and August, meticulously recording their experiences in a diary. During this blissful time Mendelssohn finished the three organ Preludes and Fugues op.37, made a setting of Psalm xlii (op.42), and composed the String Quartet in E minor op.44 no.2 and, for the Birmingham Festival, the Piano Concerto no.2 in D minor (op.40). Arriving in London on 27 August, Mendelssohn was greeted by Klingemann, with whom he began to sketch a plan for the oratorio Elijah. He attended a performance of St Paul in Exeter Hall on 12 September and the next day travelled to Birmingham, where he conducted the oratorio, gave the première of his new piano concerto and performed organ works by Bach. Reunited with Cécile in Frankfurt on 27 September, he immediately departed for Leipzig and arrived on 1 October, with only hours to spare before he conducted the inaugural concert of the new Gewandhaus season.

For the next four years Mendelssohn was based in Leipzig, presiding over the brilliant concert life of the city. In February 1838 he inaugurated a series of historical concerts, organized ‘according to the order of the most celebrated masters from the last one hundred years up to the present’. A similar series, in 1841, comprised five concerts, with programmes devoted to Bach and Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and contemporary composers. Mendelssohn's Bachian pursuits found further outlets in a piano accompaniment he devised for the Chaconne in D minor for solo violin (performed with Ferdinand David in February 1840) and in a challenging organ concert of Bach’s music presented in the Thomaskirche in August 1840, as part of an effort to raise funds for a new Bach monument. Other notable concerts included the première of Schubert's Symphony no.9 in C (March 1839), which had been rediscovered by Schumann in Vienna; a performance of all four overtures to Beethoven's Fidelio (January 1840); and the première of Schumann's First Symphony op.38 (March 1841). Among the many musicians who appeared at the Gewandhaus during these years were the sopranos Clara Novello, Mary Shaw and Sophie Schloss; the pianists William Sterndale Bennett, Ignaz Moscheles, Adolf Henselt, Alexander Dreyschock, Marie Pleyel, Sigismond Thalberg, Franz Liszt and Ferdinand Hiller; and the violinist Ole Bull.

Mendelssohn now stood at the forefront of German music. Frequently in demand as a conductor, he was engaged to direct music festivals in Cologne (June 1838), Düsseldorf (May 1839 and May 1842), Brunswick (September 1839), Schwerin (July 1840) and Birmingham (September 1840). No less active as a composer, he completed the three String Quartets op.44, the Piano Trio in D minor op.49, the overture Ruy Blas op.95, and the ‘Lobgesang’ symphony-cantata (Symphony no.2, op.52), which received its première in June 1840 at a festival commemorating the quadricentenary of the invention of movable type.

6. Berlin and Leipzig, 1840–47.

The accession of Friedrich Wilhelm IV after the death of Friedrich Wilhelm III on 7 June 1840 led to an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to revitalize the arts in Berlin. The initial plan called for a reorganization of the Akademie der Künste. Ludwig Tieck was offered a position to oversee the theatre, and the painter Peter Cornelius and the Grimm brothers were summoned to Berlin. In November, an approach was made through Paul Mendelssohn to bring the composer to Berlin. Six months later Mendelssohn was offered a one-year position, with a generous salary of 3000 thalers. But his exact duties were not clearly defined and in July after drafting the Variations sérieuses for piano (op.54) and receiving the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen in Leipzig, he warily referred to the Prussian capital as ‘one of the most sour apples into which a man can bite’. On 1 July the Saxon king, Friedrich August II, offered Mendelssohn the title of Kapellmeister (in April Mendelssohn had directed a highly successful performance of St Paul for the Saxon court in Weimar); nevertheless, at the end of July he left Leipzig for a one-year term in Berlin. In his absence, Ferdinand David oversaw the direction of the Gewandhaus season.

In September 1841 Friedrich Wilhelm IV appointed Mendelssohn Kapellmeister. Within weeks he had received his first royal commission: to compose music for the choruses of Sophocles' Antigone, the first part of an initiative to revive Greek drama, with the collaboration of Tieck and the classical scholar August Böckh. Quickly finished, Mendelssohn's score was given its first performance privately at Potsdam before the court and Berlin intelligentsia on 28 October; several public performances were given at the Schauspielhaus in Berlin in mid-April 1842. Meanwhile, Mendelssohn performed St Paul twice (10 January and 17 February) at the Singakademie, where he became an honorary member on 15 March. These were Mendelssohn's only Berlin concerts for the 1841–2 season, apart from appearances in some chamber music concerts and one orchestral concert, in which the ‘Lobgesang’ symphony was given. He continued to return to Leipzig to conduct some of the Gewandhaus concerts; there the Scottish Symphony, which had been finished in Berlin in January, had its première on 3 March 1842.

After co-directing (with Julius Rietz) the Niederrheinisches Musikfest in Düsseldorf (May 1842), where he conducted the ‘Lobgesang’ and Handel's Israel in Egypt, and appeared as soloist in Beethoven's ‘Emperor’ Concerto, Mendelssohn travelled to London. He had begun to draft a piano concerto in E minor for the new concert season, but was unable to complete it; instead, the highlight of his English sojourn was the London première on 13 June of the Scottish Symphony, which was subsequently dedicated to Queen Victoria. On 20 June and 9 July, during visits to the queen and Prince Albert at Buckingham Palace, he improvised on Rule, Britannia!, presented a new piano duet arrangement of seven of his Lieder ohne Worte, and accompanied the queen, who sang his lieder and some by his sister Fanny. After visiting Frankfurt and enjoying a Swiss holiday, which afforded him some leisure for drawing and watercolours, he returned to Leipzig, in time to conduct the first concert of the new season on 2 October 1842.

Mendelssohn with Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort: engraving by H. Hannal after G. Durand

Mansell / Time Pix / Katz
Mansell / Time Pix / Katz

His prospects in Berlin still not fully determined, Mendelssohn now requested an audience with the king, fully intending to tender his resignation. Instead, he was convinced, partly by the remonstrations of his mother, to accept a new arrangement: in exchange for waiving half his salary, Mendelssohn would be free to resume his activities in Leipzig. In addition, he was appointed Generalmusikdirektor and entrusted with overseeing sacred music in Berlin. To that end, a new cathedral choir was to be trained and placed at his disposal. In Leipzig Mendelssohn again conducted several concerts at the Gewandhaus, but was abruptly called to Berlin by the death of his mother on 12 December.

Writing to his brother that ‘we are children no longer’, Mendelssohn grieved over this loss by fully resuming his duties at the Gewandhaus. The highlights of the 1843 subscription concerts included the première of the revised version of Die erste Walpurgisnacht on 2 February; among the audience was Berlioz, then in the midst of his first concert tour, who praised the score for its ‘apparent confusion that is art perfected’. On 4 February, Berlioz himself gave a benefit concert that featured his own King Lear overture, the Offertorium from the Grande messe des morts and the Symphonie fantastique, in which Mendelssohn was enlisted to perform the harp part on a piano. In March came the première of Niels Gade's First Symphony and a concert commemorating the centenary of the Gewandhaus, with a programme including works by Leipzig Thomaskantors. In April the new Bach monument was unveiled outside the Thomaskirche, an event witnessed by Bach's last surviving grandson, W.F.E. Bach. The same month Mendelssohn went to Dresden, to conduct St Paul on Palm Sunday, a performance enthusiastically received by the new Kapellmeister there, Richard Wagner. In May, Mendelssohn met (on Fanny's recommendation) Charles Gounod and in June again visited Dresden, to hear Wagner conduct the occasional cantata Gott segne Sachsenland, which Mendelssohn had written in honour of the Saxon monarch.

Mendelssohn's central role in the cultural life of Leipzig was acknowledged by the conferring of honorary citizenship in March 1843. Meanwhile, he had been discussing with Friedrich August II the establishment of a new conservatory in Leipzig, funded by a 20,000 thaler bequest from the estate of the lawyer Heinrich Blümner, who had died in 1839. In January 1843 notices announcing the new institution were published. Instruction was offered in composition, violin, piano, organ and singing, supported by classes in chamber music and choral ensembles and lectures on the history of music. The students, who matriculated from Germany and abroad, were expected to attend the rehearsals and concerts of the Gewandhaus and other municipal musical organizations. The faculty included Mendelssohn (composition, singing, instruments), the Thomaskantor and theorist Moritz Hauptmann (harmony and composition), Ferdinand David (violin), Robert Schumann (piano and score reading), the singers Ferdinand Böhme and Henriette Bünau (née Grabau), and the organist Carl Ferdinand Becker (organ and music history). On 3 April 1843 the Conservatory opened its doors to 22 pupils, of whom the first was the composer Theodor Kirchner.

By May the new cathedral choir in Berlin was in place; nevertheless, little progress had been made in clarifying Mendelssohn's duties. On 10 July, at a conference with the king, attended by Meyerbeer (since 1842 the Generalmusikdirektor for the opera), Mendelssohn was instructed to direct each year orchestral soirées and two oratorios, and to supervise the church music for high holy days. But decisions about the nature and role of music in the Prussian service were deferred. Soon afterwards Mendelssohn received a commission to prepare a new setting of the Te Deum (‘Herr Gott, dich loben wir’), an onerous task he completed in two days, for a performance in Berlin Cathedral on 6 August marking the millennium of the founding of the German Reich. On his return, he participated in a concert that featured the Leipzig début of the 12-year-old violinist Joseph Joachim (19 August). On 1 October Mendelssohn directed the first Gewandhaus concert of the new season, but soon left for Berlin to oversee the rehearsals for a new production (by Ludwig Tieck) of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, for which he had composed the incidental music (op.61). This production – Mendelssohn's second collaboration with Tieck – was realized for the court at Potsdam on 14 October and during the following week several times publicly at the Schauspielhaus, to great acclaim.

Preparations were now made to inaugurate the revised Prussian liturgy at Berlin Cathedral. On the advice of the minister C.J. von Bunsen, the king encouraged a return to a cappella writing in the style of Palestrina and the performance of psalms divided antiphonally between the choir and congregation; also, the role of wind instruments in the orchestra was severely curtailed. Towards the end of November, Mendelssohn wound up his affairs in Leipzig and moved with his family to Berlin. On 29 November he conducted a Sinfoniesoirée, the first in a series shared with Wilhelm Taubert, and in December set to work writing sacred music for the cathedral. For Christmas he composed an a cappella setting of Psalm ii (op.78 no.1) and Frohlocket, ihr Völker (op.79 no.1) for the introit and gradual; for New Year's Day, a more ambitious setting of Psalm xcviii with orchestral accompaniment (op.91) and the verse Herr Gott, du bist unsre Zuflucht (op.79 no.2). Four more a cappella settings followed for Passion Sunday and Good Friday in 1844 (Psalms xliii and xxii, op.78 nos.2 and 3; and two verses, op.79 nos.4 and 6). These compositions represent the extent of Mendelssohn's service as royal composer of church music, apart from a few minor chorale harmonizations and an unfinished attempt (1844 and 1846) to set the German liturgy. While in Berlin he attended a performance of Der fliegende Holländer; composed the anthem Hear my Prayer for his English friend William Bartholomew; and on Passion Sunday conducted Israel in Egypt, with an ensemble of 450. In April the fifth volume of Lieder ohne Worte (op.62) appeared, with a dedication to Clara Schumann. After brief stays in Leipzig and Frankfurt, where he worked on a royal commission for incidental music to Racine's Athalie, Mendelssohn arrived in London on 8 May and began a hectic schedule of concerts. He conducted five Philharmonic Society concerts, including performances of Die erste Walpurgisnacht and some of the Midsummer Night's Dream music, and appeared frequently as a soloist, performing Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto and (with Moscheles and Thalberg) Bach's Triple Concerto in D minor (bwv1063). He met Offenbach (who was appearing in concerts as a cellist), composed the overture to Athalie and worked on a new edition of Israel in Egypt. With little respite from these engagements, he left London on 10 July and enjoyed a few days in Soden (near Frankfurt) before directing the Zweibrücken music festival (31 July and 1 August), where he again performed St Paul and Die erste Walpurgisnacht.

After these activities, at last Mendelssohn could enjoy the relative tranquillity of the summer holiday. In Soden, after learning of an assassination attempt on Friedrich Wilhelm IV, he composed the a cappella double quartet Denn er hat seine Engeln befohlen über dir (later re-used in Elijah). During this time he began to draft a series of organ pieces that gradually coalesced as the six organ sonatas op.65, and the Violin Concerto in E minor (op.64), on which he had laboured for years, was finished in September. By the end of September he had returned to Berlin and requested to be released from royal service. The king granted his wish, but asked Mendelssohn to continue to fulfil special commissions; in exchange, his salary was fixed at 1000 thalers. About this time, Mendelssohn met the young Swedish soprano Jenny Lind. On 28 November 1844 he performed St Paul at the Singakademie, his last concert for the king, and departed the next day.

After appearing at the Saxon court in Dresden, where he improvised at the piano, he returned to Frankfurt to settle with his family, remaining there for the first half of 1845 and enjoying the simple pleasures of domestic life. He declined an invitation to the USA to conduct a music festival in New York; he also declined the Prussian monarch's request to compose music for Aeschylus's Oresteia. Instead, for Berlin he continued to work on music for Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus and contemplated sketching music for Oedipus tyrannus. During this period he completed the Piano Trio in C minor op.66, worked on a new symphony in C major, finished editing a selection of Bach's organ works and studied the sketches of Schubert's unfinished symphony in E major (d729).

In July Mendelssohn was on vacation in Soden, where he drafted the String Quintet in B♭ op.87, and in Freiburg, where he joined the Hensels. He was asked by the Saxon monarch to resume his former position in Leipzig and received from Birmingham a commission to compose a new oratorio for the music festival of 1846. In Berlin, preparations were made for productions of Oedipus at Colonus and Athalie, which took place before the court on 1 November and 1 December respectively. Mendelssohn found himself commuting between Berlin and Leipzig, sharing the Gewandhaus concerts with Gade. From Berlin he dispatched to Leipzig a hastily composed choral work, Die Frauen und die Sänger, for a Schiller festival, and in December returned there with Jenny Lind, who made her triumphant Leipzig début at the Gewandhaus on the 4th of the month.

During the early months of 1846 Mendelssohn was increasingly preoccupied with the music for Elijah. Meanwhile he continued to search in vain for a suitable opera libretto, rejecting many proposals and prose sketches sent to him by poets and would-be librettists. In February he again enjoyed the company of H.C. Andersen, welcomed the harpist Parish Alvars to the Gewandhaus and completed yet another major choral work, a setting of Thomas Aquinas's sequence Lauda Sion. In May he sent the first part of Elijah to England (where Bartholomew began to prepare the English translation) and he directed a music festival in Aachen, where he was joined by Jenny Lind in performances of Haydn's The Creation and Handel's Alexander's Feast. From Aachen he proceeded to Liège, to attend the première of Lauda Sion (11 June), in observance of the 600th anniversary of the feast of Corpus Christi, and to Cologne, where his setting of Schiller's An die Künstler (op.68) was performed at the Deutsch-Vlaemisches Sängerfest.

Returning to Leipzig in June, Mendelssohn hosted a visit from Spohr, and laboured over the second part of Elijah. As if an afterthought, the overture was composed just days before the entire orchestral score was finished on 11 August. Mendelssohn departed for London soon afterwards, arriving by 18 August. At once he began a frenzied rehearsal schedule; on the 23rd a special train conveyed the orchestra, soloists, chorus and the press to Birmingham, where Elijah was first heard on 26 August (see Birmingham, fig.). No sooner had he returned to Leipzig in September than he began an extensive revision; at this time he also completed the concert aria On Lena's Gloomy Heath (on texts from Ossian) for the English bass Henry Phillips. On 4 October Mendelssohn conducted the first concert of the new Gewandhaus season and in November he welcomed the arrival of Moscheles as the new professor of piano at the Conservatory. Hopes for a Mendelssohn opera were again raised, when Jenny Lind agreed to appear in a new work for the 1847 London season. The ever scrupulous Mendelssohn examined a new version of The Tempest by Eugène Scribe, but rejected it and the commission for the opera, observing: ‘instead of The Tempest, isn't that Much Ado about Nothing?’

During the early months of 1847 he continued to share the Gewandhaus concerts with Gade. In February and March they presented a series of four historical concerts, with works from Bach up to Mendelssohn's own time. On Good Friday (2 April) Mendelssohn appeared in a charity concert to conduct St Paul, his last public performance in Leipzig. Within days he again departed for London, to oversee six performances of the revised version of Elijah, including four in London (16 April, 23 April – before Queen Victoria and Prince Albert – 28 April and 30 April) and two in Manchester and Birmingham (20 and 27 April). On 26 April, Mendelssohn directed his Scottish Symphony at a Philharmonic concert. He was again received at Buckingham Palace and on 6 May was heard by Gladstone in a concert at the Prussian embassy.

Exhausted from his English sojourn, Mendelssohn returned to Frankfurt and there received the traumatic news that his sister Fanny had died on 14 May. Unable to attend the funeral, he visited Baden-Baden in June and, with his brother Paul, departed for Switzerland at the end of the month. In Thun and Interlaken he mourned his loss by turning not to music but to painting watercolours, and only gradually was able to take up composition again. In Switzerland he completed the Three Motets op.69, drafted the highly discordant String Quartet in F minor op.80 and worked on two large-scale compositions (both unfinished at his death): Christus, his third oratorio, and Die Lorelei, on a libretto by the poet Emanuel Geibel, which would have been his first opera since the staging of Die Hochzeit des Camacho 20 years earlier.

By the middle of September Mendelssohn had returned to Leipzig; a visit to Berlin at the end of the month to see his sister's grave was so disturbing that he was unable to conduct at the Gewandhaus. On 3 October he heard Joachim perform the Violin Concerto in E minor and a few days later he examined applicants to the Conservatory in figured bass. But later that month he suffered a series of strokes, which increased in severity, until at last, weakened and incapacitated, he died during the evening of 4 November. On 7 November a funeral service was held in the Paulinerkirche in Leipzig; the pallbearers included Schumann, David, Gade, Hauptmann and Moscheles. The coffin was placed on a train to Berlin and was met by mourners during the night at stops along the way. The following day Mendelssohn was buried in the cemetery of the Dreifaltigkeitskirche, next to the grave of his sister Fanny.

Only weeks before the composer's death, the full score of Elijah was issued as op.70 by Simrock in Bonn. The end of the year saw the publication of two other works authorized by Mendelssohn, the Sechs Lieder op.71 and Sechs Kinderstücke for piano, op.72. Then, between 1848 and 1873, about 50 unpublished compositions were issued, beginning with the Lauda Sion op.73 and Athalie op.74 and concluding with the Responsorium et Hymnus op.121 (among the posthumous works were the Italian and Reformation symphonies, and the Ruy Blas overture, all judged unworthy of publication by the composer). In 1874 Breitkopf & Härtel, Mendelssohn's principal publisher, began to issue the first collected edition, overseen by Julius Rietz, of which the final volume appeared in 1877. But many unpublished works, including some one hundred juvenilia and student efforts, were dismissed as of minor consequence and excluded from the edition. In 1960 a second attempt at a collected edition was begun (the Leipziger Ausgabe der Werke Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdys), with the publication of several volumes – among them the 12 string sinfonias of 1821–3, the two double piano concertos, the Violin Concerto in D minor, the Singspiel Die beiden Pädagogen and the Te Deum of 1826 – renewing scholarly interest in Mendelssohn's student period. In the 1990s a new, comprehensive Gesamtausgabe was conceived. Launched in 1997 by Breitkopf & Härtel, the edition will include for the first time Mendelssohn's complete works and the first critical thematic catalogue of his music.

7. Musical style.

The conservative cultural milieu of Restoration Berlin was the crucible in which the young Mendelssohn formed his style during the 1820s. With Zelter's encouragement, he sought to emulate the proven models of Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mozart. The close study of Bach's music no doubt explains in large measure Mendelssohn's characteristic love of learned counterpoint and complex chromatic part-writing; indeed, the generating of fugues and canons became an avocation for him, in an age when other composers were eschewing the rigour of strict counterpoint (Berlioz, for example, suggested that Mendelssohn had perhaps studied the music of the dead too closely). In Handel's oratorios Mendelssohn found a rich variety of choral techniques, which he used to great effect in his own oratorios and psalm settings. From the Viennese Classical style he inherited a preference for clearly balanced themes with symmetrical phrase structures. His scores often exude a refined elegance reminiscent of Mozart, a comparison not lost on Schumann, who, in reviewing the Piano Trio in D minor op.49, dubbed Mendelssohn the Mozart of the 19th century.

If the roots of Mendelssohn's style lay in the 18th century, he was deeply affected also by the music of Beethoven and Weber, and not untouched by the emergence of the new Romantic music aesthetic. Mendelssohn's romantic imagination found its fullest expression in his exploration of the fanciful, a category Leigh Hunt defined as the ‘youngest sister of Imagination without the other's weight of thought and feeling’. The two early masterpieces from the composer's 16th and 17th years, the Octet and Midsummer Night's Dream overture, contain examples of the light, capricious scherzando writing that soon became a hallmark of his style. Here, Mendelssohn found his inspiration in Goethe's Faust and Shakespeare's comedy, though he refused to elaborate a detailed programmatic interpretation of his music, preferring to leave that task to the listener, a stance that set him apart from other 19th-century composers of programmatic music such as Berlioz and Liszt.

Though Mendelssohn was among the distinguished pianists of his age, he did not challenge in his own music the limits of new piano techniques, lest virtuosity should become an end in itself (he greatly admired the playing of Liszt, but found his compositions lacking in original thematic ideas). Similarly, though he was one of the foremost conductors of the 1830s and 40s – a time when Berlioz and Wagner were writing for increasingly larger orchestras – he continued to restrict his own orchestral means, typically preferring to score for a Classical double-wind ensemble. Nevertheless, Mendelssohn was able to extract from familiar means unfamiliar orchestral nuances and colouristic effects, giving his scores a certain irrepressible vividness. To appreciate his skill at orchestration, one need only examine the motto-like four wind chords that appear three times in the course of the Midsummer Night's Dream overture, with very slight inflections in the scoring.

8. Orchestral music.

Among Mendelssohn's first attempts to write for full orchestra are the overtures to Die Soldatenliebschaft (1820) and Die beiden Pädagogen (about March 1821), which exhibit a debt to Mozart in their harmonic language, formal plan and orchestration. Around this time, Mendelssohn embarked on an extended series of string sinfonias, of which 13 were completed by 1823. Severely academic in tone, they reveal in their chromatic fugal writing the strong influence of Bach and, in their striking stylistic discontinuities, of his son C.P.E. Bach, whose string sinfonias offered compelling precedents. Sinfonia no.8, originally for string orchestra but re-scored for full orchestra, stands curiously apart: Mozartian in style, its finale, based on four distinct thematic ideas, presents a fusion of sonata form and contrapuntal permutations modelled on the finale of Mozart's Symphony no.41. In nos.9 and 11, Mendelssohn introduced scherzos in lieu of minuets, used folksongs he had notated during his Swiss visit of 1822 and experimented with a Janissary percussion complement.

Mendelssohn's first published symphony (op.11 in C minor) dates from 1824, but was withheld from print until ten years later. It was among the works taken in 1829 to England, where the composer conducted it with an arrangement of the scherzo from the Octet substituting for its minuet. The energetic opening betrays something of the storm music from Weber's Der Freischütz and the minuet and finale reveal a close study of Mozart's Symphony no. 40 and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Beethoven's influence is apparent, too, in Mendelssohn's first programmatic symphony, the Reformation, written for the tercentenary of the Augsburg Confession (June 1830), but given its première only two years later and subsequently rejected by the composer (it appeared posthumously as Symphony no.5 in 1868). In the outer movements Mendelssohn sought to oppose two types of music: Palestrinian imitative writing based on the ‘Jupiter’ motto (D–E–G–F♯) and quotations of the ‘Dresden Amen’ to symbolize the Catholic faith; and a homophonic chorale texture (culminating in the use of Ein’ feste Burg in the finale) for the Protestant.

The Italian sojourn of 1830 provided the raw musical material for the Italian Symphony, finished and performed in London in 1833, revised the following year, but published only posthumously as Symphony no.4 in 1851. For Julius Benedict, the brightly scored opening was ‘warmed with the balmy air of a southern clime’. The slow movement, profitably compared to the ‘Marche des pèlerins’ from Berlioz's nearly contemporaneous Harold en Italie, begins with a haunting modal melody evidently meant to depict a religious ceremony or procession. The third movement was probably inspired by Goethe's humorous poem Lilis Park. The finale, labelled ‘Saltarello’, begins with a characteristic hopping figure reminiscent of the saltarellos Mendelssohn heard in Rome and Naples, but then introduces in its development a new conjunct figure intended, according to William Rockstro, as a tarantella; the two are juxtaposed in the closing bars of the score.

With the ‘Lobgesang’ Symphony, composed in 1840 and published as Symphony no.2 in 1841, Mendelssohn again produced a symphony extending into the realm of religious music. Also, by introducing texted elements into the work, he took up an equally daunting challenge, that of responding to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (Berlioz's ‘answer’, the Roméo et Juliette symphony, dates from 1839). Mendelssohn's solution, as he explained to Klingemann, was to attempt a hybrid symphony-cantata: a three-movement, through-composed orchestral sinfonia attached to a nine-movement vocal cantata, with biblical texts celebrating mankind's progress from darkness to enlightenment (the agent of this process was the word of God, as disseminated by the Gutenberg Bible). Linking the symphony and cantata is a recurring motto-like intonation (F–G–F–B♭), initially announced by the trombones and then given verbal meaning in the cantata by the addition of the text ‘Alles was Odem hat, lobe den Herrn’.

Mendelssohn's final symphony, the Scottish, was inspired by his visit to Scotland in 1829, but not finished until 1842, in Berlin. Amidst the ruins of Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh the 20-year-old conceived the brooding theme of the opening slow introduction, scored with the darkly hued colours of the low wind instruments and violas. In Edinburgh, too, he attended a competition of bagpipe musicians; some element of Scottish folk music no doubt resurfaces in the lively pentatonic clarinet melody that opens the scherzo. As in the ‘Lobgesang’, Mendelssohn opted for a through-composed structure; at the première in Leipzig (1842), he even took the trouble to suppress the tempo markings of the movements from the concert programme. By deriving much of the thematic material of the symphony from the basic motivic cell of the slow introduction (E–A–B–C) he again created a work in which the unity of the whole was of paramount importance. Characteristically, he left no programme for the symphony, though the score vividly conjures up extra-musical interpretations. The slow movement, for instance, includes stately music with dotted rhythms suggestive of a lament-like procession; the fourth movement Mendelssohn described as Allegro guerriero, that is, a struggle symbolized musically by the inclusion of a dissonant fugato. The euphonious fifth movement, on the other hand, resolves the conflict through several repetitions of a hymn-like melody in A major, a device Mendelssohn may have borrowed from Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony.

Mendelssohn's concert overtures are among his most popular orchestral works. Not counting the Harmoniemusik op.24 for wind orchestra, there are six independent overtures. The ‘Trumpet’ Overture op.101 of 1825–6, so named because of its motto-like trumpet fanfare, impresses in its flexible treatment of sonata form and colouristic scoring as a preliminary study for the Midsummer Night's Dream overture, finished in 1826. In this masterpiece Mendelssohn constructed a rich network of motifs, all drawn from a descending tetrachord embedded in the celebrated wind chords, to capture Shakespeare's elves, lovers and tradesmen, and the Athenian court (A.B. Marx claimed credit for urging Mendelssohn to include the braying music to depict Bottom). Between the opening and closing statements of the chords (which Liszt compared to ‘slowly drooping and rising eyelids, between which is depicted a charming dream-world’), the motifs undergo a series of transformations, and thereby are fittingly ‘no more yielding than a dream’.

In the case of Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt (1828), Mendelssohn took as his subject two short poems by Goethe about a ship becalmed at sea. In contrast to Beethoven, who had earlier set the poems as a short cantata for chorus and orchestra (published in 1822), Mendelssohn limited himself to the orchestra, to express the poems, according to Marx, ‘without words’. Here, too, he indulged in a certain formal freedom: the overture divides into two ‘tableaux’, joined by a transition; a coda, appended to ‘glückliche Fahrt’, suggests the jubilant arrival of the vessel into port, an interpretation Mendelssohn extrapolated from Goethe's poem, which concludes only with the sighting of land.

Mendelssohn's third programmatic overture, Die Hebriden, was inspired by his visit to the western coast of Scotland in 1829 (his letter of 7 August reveals clearly that the opening, with its characteristic rocking bass figure, was conceived before the visit to Fingal's Cave the following day). Once again he derived his thematic material from a quintessential motif, announced at the beginning of the composition and recalled at its conclusion, lending the work a certain formal circularity. Dissatisfied with the first draft, completed in Italy in 1830, he continued to revise it, complaining that the development tasted ‘more of counterpoint than of train oil, gulls and salted cod’. He continued to struggle, too, with the title, and considered ‘Overture zur einsamen Insel’ and ‘The Isles of Fingal’, before returning to Die Hebriden. When the piano-duet arrangement was published in 1833 the title Fingals Höhle was introduced, possibly at the bidding of Mendelssohn's publisher.

The two other overtures were based on dramatic subjects. The Ouverture zum Märchen von der schönen Melusine (1833) was an attempt to improve on the music of Conradin Kreutzer's fairy tale opera about the mermaid Melusina and the knight Raimund (Mendelssohn summarized their relationship, and their sharply contrasting types of music in his score, as a ‘mésalliance’). Ruy Blas, with its solemn slow introduction and colourful amphibrachic rhythms, was designated for a production in March 1839 of Victor Hugo's tragedy about 17th-century Spanish court life.

In the genre of the concerto Mendelssohn focussed on two instruments that he himself played, the piano and the violin (in 1847, impressed by a performance of the cellist Alfredo Piatti, Mendelssohn evidently began to draft a concerto for that instrument, but no vestige of this work remains). Of the early student concertos, the Piano Concerto in A minor of 1822 was closely modelled on a concerto in the same key by Hummel, with whom Mendelssohn briefly studied in Weimar. The Violin Concerto in D minor, from the same year, was dedicated to Mendelssohn's teacher Eduard Rietz, a former pupil of Pierre Rode, and evinces stylistic features of the French school. Considerably more ambitious are the two concertos for two pianos, which Mendelssohn performed privately and publicly with his sister Fanny and with Loewe and Moscheles. Their formal structure and harmonic language betray the influence of Beethoven, their technical demands on the pianists the idiomatic styles of such virtuosos as J.L. Dussek, Weber and John Field.

Weber's Concert-Stück for piano and orchestra figured prominently in Mendelssohn's repertory as a pianist, and its telescoped formal arrangement, with several relatively short movements linked by transitions, served as a model for his mature piano concertos, including two full-length works in three movements (opp.25 and 40) and three shorter pieces, the Rondo brillant op.29 (for which he occasionally improvised a slow introduction), and the Capriccio brillant op.22 and Serenade und Allegro giojoso op.43, in which slow movements are elided to lighthearted finales. Throughout his career Mendelssohn found the writing of concertos an especially arduous task and confessed to friends his struggle to reconcile the competing demands of virtuosity and the integrity of the compositions as works of art. His piano writing featured a light, brilliant variety of virtuosity; only rarely did he experiment with fashionable pianistic effects, such as the martellato octave passages in the First Piano Concerto or the Thalbergian ‘three-hand’ technique in the Second.

Standing quite apart is his final concerto, the Violin Concerto in E minor op.64, which is among the most important 19th-century concertos for the instrument. In three connected movements, this work is often cited for several distinctive features, including the early entrance of the soloist in the first movement, to present the elegiac first theme, and the placement of the cadenza so that it links the development and recapitulation. The slow movement, in a ternary ABA form, offers a lyrical ‘Lied ohne Worte’; the fleet-footed finale, in sonata-rondo form, a capricious Mendelssohnian scherzo.

9. Chamber works.

Significantly, the young Mendelssohn chose four chamber works – three piano quartets and a violin sonata – as his first published opuses (composed 1822–5). Preceding them are numerous other chamber pieces, including some dozen fugues for string quartet (1821), a Piano Trio in C minor, a Piano Quartet in D minor (possibly performed for Goethe in 1821) and a Violin Sonata in F. All of these reveal Bach, Haydn and Mozart as the primary stylistic influences, as does a fully fledged String Quartet in E♭ (1823), which culminates with a studious double fugue for its finale.

Of the three published piano quartets, the third (op.3), performed for Cherubini and dedicated to Goethe, is the most ambitious. The thematic richness of its first movement, the use of a ‘new’ theme in the development and the extended coda are all features that give the music a Beethovenian breadth. The whimsical scherzo anticipates the gossamer textures of the Midsummer Night's Dream overture; the finale of nearly 500 bars, with its amalgamation of sonata and rondo forms, anticipates the finale of the Octet. Among the chamber works from the 1820s that Mendelssohn withheld from publication are clarinet and viola sonatas and the Sextet op.110. The minuet of the Viola Sonata was revised and re-used in the First Symphony op.11. The Sextet uses the device of thematic recall: its scherzo briefly returns in the finale, thereby linking the last two movements, a stratagem Mendelssohn borrowed from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and employed again in the Octet.

The Octet, composed in 1825, is generally acknowledged as Mendelssohn's first masterpiece. He may have known Spohr's Double String Quartet in D minor (op.65), which was published that year. Whereas Spohr scored his work for two antiphonal quartets, the 16-year-old Mendelssohn explored a considerably broader spectrum of instrumental combinations, ranging from the minimalist unison textures of the scherzo through any number of divisions of the ensemble to the opulent eight-part fugato of the finale. From Fanny Mendelssohn we know that the Scherzo was inspired by the ‘Walpurgisnachtstraum’ in the first part of Goethe's Faust, a dream-like sequence with appearances by Oberon, Titania and Puck (not from Shakespeare, but from Wieland's epic poem Oberon of 1780), and a Kapellmeister who leads an orchestra of insects and small animals. The finale, with its display of intricate counterpoint (including a quotation from the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus of Handel's Messiah), places the work in a distinguished tradition, at the apex of which stands the finale of Mozart's Symphony no.41.

Between 1827 and 1847 Mendelssohn composed six string quartets, and had begun work on a seventh at the end of his life (the Andante and Scherzo from op.81 may have belonged to this final project). The first two, op.13 in A minor (1827) and op.12 in E♭ (1829), show a rapprochement with the late quartets of Beethoven. To the Swedish musician Adolf Lindblad Mendelssohn explained his concern for the organic relationship of the various movements to the whole. In op.12 the opening of the first movement is brought back to conclude the finale; in op.13 the quintessential thematic material is drawn from the lied Frage (op.9 no.1), with explicit quotations from the song in the outer and more hidden references in the inner movements of the quartet. The three quartets op.44, written during the idyllic period of Mendelssohn's honeymoon and first year of marriage, show signs of a Classical tendency. In striking contrast is the discordant last quartet, op.80 in F minor, generally viewed as Mendelssohn's response to the death of his sister.

Among Mendelssohn's most successful chamber works are the piano trios in D minor (op.49, 1839) and C minor (op.66, 1845), and the Cello Sonata no.2 in D (op.58, 1843). Mendelssohn subjected the first draft of op.49 to a thorough revision and, at Ferdinand Hiller's urging, rewrote the piano part entirely in order to ‘modernize’ its passage-work. Both trios contain ‘Lied ohne Worte’ style slow movements and brisk scherzos. The finale of op.66 (which left its mark on the finale of Brahms's Piano Quartet in C minor op.60) is distinguished by its newly composed chorale subject that functions as the second episode in a rondo design. In the Second Cello Sonata Mendelssohn also employed a freely composed chorale; here it appears in the slow movement, where its strains alternate with recitative-like passages, in preparation for the ebullient virtuoso display of the finale.

Of the two string quintets the first, op.18 in A, begins with a graceful Mozartian theme somewhat reminiscent of the Clarinet Quintet k581. The use of fugal writing and, in the original minuet, intricate double canons, imbued the first version of this work with a severely academic quality; in 1832, Mendelssohn replaced the minuet with the emotionally charged Intermezzo in memory of Eduard Rietz. The second quintet, op.87 in B♭, offers in its soaring opening theme and passionate slow movement some of Mendelssohn's most inspired music; nevertheless, he did not see the work through the press, owing to his dissatisfaction with the finale.

10. Keyboard music.

Mendelssohn composed piano music throughout his career, but maintained an ambivalent attitude towards much of the piano music of his own time. Though attracted to the music of Hummel, Ludwig Berger and Moscheles, he dismissed many of the fashionable virtuosos as shallow and uninspired (thus, Kalkbrenner was an ‘indigestible sausage’). He greatly admired the pianism of Chopin and Liszt, but found some of Chopin's works mannered and Liszt's music ‘unpremeditated’. In Mendelssohn's own mature keyboard music, three influences stand out: the contrapuntal rigour of Bach, the dramatic gestures and transcendental utterances of Beethoven's middle and late periods, and the scintillating pianistic textures of Weber.

Not surprisingly, Mendelssohn's fascination with Bach's counterpoint is evident in his piano essays of the early 1820s, whereas the influences of Beethoven and Weber only gradually emerge, beginning around 1823. The sonatas op.6 in E and 106 in B♭, betray their origins in Beethoven's op.101 and Hammerklavier sonatas. Mendelssohn's debt to Weber is perhaps most evident in the Perpetuum mobile in C (op.119), modelled on the finale of Weber's Piano Sonata no.1 in C, and the Rondo capricciosoop.14 of 1830, indebted to Weber's Concert-Stück. On the other hand, the studious Capriccio in F♯ minor (op.5), Mendelssohn's first published piano work (1825), reminded Rossini of the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. And the Sieben Charakterstücke (op.7) can best be described as eclectic: they include Handelian and Beethovenian fugues, but also Bach-like pieces in binary form and, in a more progressive vein, two études and a buoyant scherzo – marked ‘Leicht und luftig’ (‘Light and airy’) – that is of a kind with the elves’ music in the Midsummer Night's Dream overture.

The origins of the Lieder ohne Worte, of which Mendelssohn published 36 pieces in six volumes between 1832 and 1845 (two more volumes followed posthumously), remain couched in mystery. Among his earliest piano lieder was one in E♭ written for Fanny's birthday in 1828 (Fanny herself composed numerous examples of the genre); the idea of creating songlike piano pieces may have originated in a game Fanny and Felix played, in which they apparently added texts to piano pieces. Then, too, the critical thought of A.B. Marx, who explored in his writings of the 1820s the expressive potential and ‘definiteness’ of instrumental music, was not without impact. Most of the lieder fall into three groups, pianistic parallels to the vocal categories of solo songs, duets and partsongs. The meaning of the new genre perplexed Mendelssohn's contemporaries. Schumann suggested that the composer had produced texted lieder, but then suppressed the texts; when the composer's cousin Marc-André Souchay offered to give some of the lieder fanciful titles, Mendelssohn replied that he had intended each lied ‘just as it stands’. Only a small number of the lieder bear titles from Mendelssohn (e.g. the three called Venetianisches Gondellied) or his circle (e.g. the ‘Frühlingslied’); nevertheless, later in the 19th century, a host of insipid titles accrued to the lieder, contributing to the view of Mendelssohn as a composer of overtly sentimental piano music for the parlour.

Mendelssohn's mature piano music includes three large-scale works. The Fantasia in F♯ minor op.28 (c1828–9), originally entitled Sonate écossaise, joins his other works on Scottish subjects (the blurry open-pedal passages of the first movement, for example, are not far removed from the world of the Hebrides overture). The unusual three-movement form, with a slow first movement and fiery finale, was borrowed from Beethoven's Sonata op.27 no.2 (‘Moonlight’). The Six Preludes and Fugues op.35 (published in 1837) were originally conceived as a series of études and fugues. Not surprisingly, the fugal writing is often unabashedly after Bach, though at least one fugue (no.4 in A♭) conjures up the finale of Beethoven's Sonata op.110. Arguably the summit of Mendelssohn's piano music was achieved in the Variations sérieuses in D minor (op.54), composed during the summer of 1841 along with two other variation sets (opp.82 and 83; a duet arrangement of the latter followed in 1844). The chromatic, angular theme is subjected to an impressive display of rhythmic, registral and textural manipulations, and is gradually disembodied through the course of the variations before re-emerging in the powerful finale. Op.54 was Mendelssohn's contribution to an album published to raise funds for the Beethoven monument in Bonn, and indeed the work belongs to the tradition of Beethoven's ‘serious’ 32 Variations in C minor, also for piano solo.

Mendelssohn was one of the finest organists of his day. The Three Preludes and Fugues op.37, dedicated to Mozart's pupil Thomas Attwood, form a pendant to op.35. The Six Organ Sonatas op.65 (1845), teeming with artful fugues and chorales, summarize and epitomize Mendelssohn's rediscovery of Bach, and may have inspired Schumann's six fugues on B–A–C–H op.60.

11. Oratorios and sacred works.

Mendelssohn was not the only 19th-century composer to revive the oratorio, but his two completed works, St Paul (1836) and Elijah (1846), were the only representatives of his time to achieve lasting popularity. Mendelssohn himself frequently performed St Paul at music festivals; what is more, after its première, the oratorio at once achieved numerous triumphant performances abroad, in England, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia and the USA (performances were given in Boston, New York and Baltimore in 1837, 1838 and 1839 respectively). Of course, the subject, the conversion of Saul to St Paul, held a special meaning for the Mendelssohn family, who had embraced the Christian faith. As in Elijah, Mendelssohn conceived the work in two parts, each structured around three dramatic episodes: in Part 1, for instance, the persecution of Stephen, the appearance of Christ before Saul on the road to Damascus (scored for female choir and winds, a choice that provoked a controversy), and Saul's conversion. From Bach's Passions and Handel's oratorios Mendelssohn borrowed the use of the traditional narrator, to relate in recitatives the dramatic action of the work. Conspicuously Bachian are the chorales, interspersed throughout the oratorio to demarcate the principal structural divisions, diffusing, according to Carl Klingemann, ‘a calmness through the whole’. On the other hand a debt to Handel is revealed in the rich variety of the choruses, which include several that directly engage in the dramatic action and several cast in a variety of fugal styles. Prefacing the oratorio is an overture that evokes Paul's struggle for spiritual awakening by means of the chorale Wachet auf and a dissonant fugue, with its subject derived from the first strain of the chorale.

According to Schumann, Mendelssohn's oratorio and Meyerbeer's grand opera Les Huguenots pointed in two diametrically opposed directions: the one upholding musical standards, the other, relying on tawdry and sensational effects, debasing the musical art. Schumann predicted that Mendelssohn, a ‘prophet of a glorious future’, would produce another oratorio. Elijah, contemplated as early as 1836 when preparations were under way for the first English performance of St Paul, was finished only ten years later (in the penultimate year of Mendelssohn's life) and then thoroughly revised in 1847. Written for England, Elijah was nevertheless composed to a German text, for which William Bartholomew expeditiously prepared the English version for the première in Birmingham.

Based largely on the account in 1 Kings, Elijah relates the chief events in the prophet's life: the curse of the Lord and the seven-year drought, Elijah's miraculous revival of the widow's son, his confrontation with the Baal worshippers and the lifting of the drought, his confrontation with Ahab and Jezebel, his flight to the wilderness and encounter with the Lord, and his journey to Mt Horeb and ascension to heaven in a flaming chariot. As in St Paul, Mendelssohn employed chorales and relied heavily upon choral numbers; noteworthy is the sheer diversity of choruses, ranging from fugue (the end points, nos.1 and 42) and canon (no.34), to chordal style or chorales (nos.5, 15, 16 and 32), chorus and solo duet (no.2), eight-part double quartet (no.7), a cappella trio and quartet (nos.28 and 15), and choral recitative (nos.1 and 36). In contrast to St Paul, Mendelssohn dispensed with the narrator, allowing the characters themselves to deliver the dramatic action. Elijah diverges from St Paul, too, in its broadly conceived musical cohesiveness; in no other work did Mendelssohn concern himself with musical structure on such a large scale.

On the simplest level the oratorio is unified through a network of recurring motifs. Two in particular, a rising triadic figure and a series of interlocking tritones, function topically to identify the prophet Elijah and the catastrophic drought. They appear initially in Elijah's opening recitative and subsequently are revived in a variety of ways: for example, the interval of the tritone, associated with the drought, is embedded in the fugal subject of the overture and in the harmonic vocabulary of the oratorio, which includes prominent use of diminished 7th and augmented 6th sonorities. On a second level, Mendelssohn stitches together several numbers to form larger complexes of through-composed music. Thus, the opening recitative pauses on a half cadence to introduce the orchestral overture, a dissonant fugue that depicts the tribulations of the people during the drought. Unfolding as a series of intensifying gestures, the overture then spills over to the first chorus (‘Help, Lord! Wilt thou quite destroy us?’), also designed as a fugue, which, in turn, is followed by a choral recitative. Taken together, the entire complex is unified by a symmetrical design: two fugues framed by two recitatives. Finally, on a third level, Mendelssohn coordinated the musical structure of the oratorio through the use of tonal axes. Part 1, for example, describes a rising tonal motion from D minor to E♭ major, with D minor active in the opening numbers; E♭ is introduced in Obadiah's aria (no.4), and reasserted at the midpoint, Elijah's recitative (no.10), and then secured in the concluding chorus (no.20).

With few exceptions, Mendelssohn's other sacred works lie largely in the shadow of St Paul and Elijah. They include a series of Bachian chorale cantatas, composed between 1827 and 1832, of which Mendelssohn published only one, Aus tiefer Noth, in the Drei Kirchenmusiken op.23. The five large-scale settings of Psalms cxv, xlii, xcv, cxiv and xcviii (opp.31, 42, 46, 51 and 91), which contain inspired and vivid choral writing, often impress as preliminary studies for the oratorios (Psalm cxv was originally set to the Vulgate text Non nobis Domine; the composer himself then fashioned the German paraphrase Nicht unserm Namen, Herr when the work was made ready for publication). Occasionally the composer's historical pursuits led him to write sacred music, e.g. the Kyrie for five-part chorus and orchestra, 1825, with clear ties to Mozart's Requiem, the Palestrinian Tu es Petrus (1827) and the Hora est for 16-part chorus and continuo (1828), which revives the 17th-century Italian polychoral tradition. Mendelssohn produced several occasional sacred pieces for England; the most popular of these was the anthem Hear my Prayer, based on a paraphrase of Psalm lv (1844). The late works include the unjustly neglected Lauda Sion (1846), one of Mendelssohn's few settings of a Catholic text, and the majestic a cappella Three Motets op.69 (1847).

12. Operas and other dramatic music.

Like Schumann, Mendelssohn did not produce a successful opera, though he was by no means inexperienced or unskilled in dramatic composition. Between the ages of 11 and 15, he finished four ambitious dramatic works, three in one act and one in three acts. All were performed privately in the Mendelssohn Berlin residence. The librettos were written by Johann Ludwig Casper, a physician who had studied in France and frequented the vaudeville theatre there. Perhaps the most successful of these youthful attempts is Die beiden Pädagogen, a spoof about the educational methods of Pestalozzi and Basedow, based on Eugène Scribe's comedy Les deux précepteurs of 1817. Its vivid characterizations, skilful ensembles and climactic finale reveal the young Mendelssohn to have been a devoted student of Mozart's operas.

Mendelssohn's only opera to reach the public stage, Die Hochzeit des Camacho, is based on an episode from the second part of Cervantes's Don Quixote (the identity of the librettist remains unclear). Quiteria, in love with the destitute Basilio, is forbidden by her father, Carrasco, to marry; instead, he promises her to the well-to-do landowner Camacho. Their wedding feast, attended by the knight Don Quixote and his servant Sancho Panza, is interrupted by the sudden appearance of Basilio, who in Cervantes's tale feigns suicide, is granted a last wish and is permitted to marry Quiteria. In the end the lovers' union is blessed by Don Quixote and Camacho. Mendelssohn's score, which shows signs of Beethoven's and Weber's influence, contains some memorable music, though the opera as a whole flags because of inherent difficulties in the libretto. The overture presents several motifs that figure later in the opera, including a prominent fanfare associated with the knight-errantry of Don Quixote. In the Act 2 ballet, the opposing forces of Cupid and Wealth are rendered by a bolero and fandango, a rare example of Mendelssohn's use of local colour.

The failure of Camacho was an especially hard blow for the young composer, who refused to release his next dramatic work, Heimkehr aus der Fremde (1829), to the public stage; instead, it was reserved for his parents’ silver wedding anniversary. The theme of homecoming, developed by Klingemann into a Singspiel libretto, alluded to the composer's own return from England. Many of the numbers are set as simple strophic lieder; in ‘Wenn die Abendglocken läuten’, Mendelssohn introduced a military fanfare later re-used in the reprise of Die Hebriden.

For the rest of his life Mendelssohn continued to search for a suitable opera libretto, but rejected dozens of proposals from poets and playwrights, including Karl von Holtei, J.R. Planché (the librettist of Weber's Oberon), Karl Immermann, Eugène Scribe and Helminie von Chézy (the librettist of Weber's Euryanthe), and from his friends Klingemann, Ludwig Robert and Devrient (Devrient lamented his friend's ‘operatic destiny’ as a ‘Hamlet-like tragedy’). The subjects ranged from historical topics (Edward III and the Siege of Calais, the Peasants’ War), to Teutonic myth (the Nibelungenlied), Shakespeare's plays (The Tempest, The Winter's Tale), and folktales (Hans Heiling, Bluebeard). Finally, in 1845 Mendelssohn took up the Lorelei legend and began an extended collaboration with Emanuel Geibel on an opera in three acts, with continuous music. But the composer lived long enough only to begin the music for the first act, of which the finale and two short numbers were issued posthumously. The dramatic finale – in which Lenore, betrayed by the nobleman Otto, climbs a cliff above the Rhine and swears vengeance, plighting her troth as bride of the river – contains effective music, but reveals a chain-like construction considerably less innovative than the more flexible musico-dramatic designs realized by Wagner during the 1840s.

In a separate category are Mendelssohn's independent concert arias. More or less neglected, they include one that survives only in incomplete form, Tutto è silenzio, composed in 1829 for Anna Milder-Hauptmann, the prima donna in Berlin. The scena and aria Infelice (op.94), commissioned by the Philharmonic Society in London in 1834, shows clear evidence of the composer's dramatic abilities. Written for Maria Malibran, using texts from Metastasio, the score originally featured an obbligato violin solo; in 1843 it was substantially revised and rewritten for Sophie Schloss, who performed it at her farewell concert in Leipzig. On Lena's Gloomy Heath (1846) was Mendelssohn's response to a request from the English bass Henry Phillips for a composition. Phillips himself chose passages from the Ossianic poem Fingal, and the composer obliged with a two-part setting, stylistically related to Die Hebriden, that culminates in a spirited march.

Mendelssohn wrote incidental music for several plays, including pieces for Immermann's production of Calderón's El príncipe constante (as Der standhafte Prinz) in Düsseldorf in 1833. For a performance of Victor Hugo's Ruy Blas in 1839, he composed a romance for women’s chorus and strings, and then completed in days the more celebrated overture. His other incidental music, to Sophocles' Antigone and Oedipus at Colonus, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Racine's Athalie, was all owing to royal commissions from Friedrich Wilhelm IV. The Prussian monarch was keenly interested in reviving Greek tragedy and to that end, in collaboration with Tieck and the philologist August Böckh (who lived at Mendelssohn's Berlin residence during the 1840s), the composer began work in 1841 on music for the choruses of Antigone. His own classical studies held him in good stead: using the translation of J.J.C. Donner, scrupulously faithful to the original metre, Mendelssohn rendered the strophes and antistrophes of Sophocles' choruses with syllabic settings for double male choir accompanied by an orchestra, occasionally resorting to a recitative-like style of declamation. The parts of the principal characters were left as spoken dialogue, or set as melodrama, with the orchestra accompanying the spoken text. (Four years later, a similar procedure was employed for Oedipus at Colonus.) Though opinion varied about Mendelssohn's music (Schumann viewed the score as ‘half opera, half tragedy’; The Times, ‘too modern, and at the same time not modern enough’), Antigone was widely performed and used as a model for later classical revivals. In 1845 alone, it achieved 45 performances at Covent Garden; the same year, it was satirized in Lortzing's comic opera Der Wildschütz, another sign of its popularity.

Though little-known today, the music for Athalie merits performance. Especially striking are Mendelssohn's paraphrases of chorales, including Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh’ darein and, in a scene in which the high priest Joad describes a vision of the New Jerusalem, Vom Himmel hoch. Undoubtedly the most celebrated of Mendelssohn's incidental music are the 12 numbers and finale composed in 1843 for A Midsummer Night's Dream, which include entr'acte movements (among them the Scherzo, Nocturne and famous Wedding March), several shorter pieces cast as melodramas, a strophic song with chorus (‘You spotted snakes’), and miniatures for the tradesmen and their presentation of ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’. Rather than compose entirely new music for the production, Mendelssohn strategically chose to re-use his concert overture and its colourful assortment of motifs, thereby facilitating, retrospectively, their identification in the youthful composition of 1826. Schumann questioned Mendelssohn's heavy reliance on the material of the overture, perhaps most conspicuous in the finale, which revives the elves' music and the coda of the overture, and concludes with the four ethereal wind chords. But throughout the course of the incidental music the familiar motifs of the overture are themselves subjected to a series of fanciful metamorphoses, extending a process already at work in the product of the 17-year-old's imagination. Thus, the quintessential tetrachord of the elves' motif is invoked in any number of ingenious ways, including, in nos.4 and 8, sequences of rising and falling chromatic tetrachords to accompany Puck's administering of the magic potion to Titania and, mutatis mutandis, her release from the charm.

13. Lieder and other vocal works.

Among Mendelssohn's most impressive works is the secular cantata Die erste Walpurgisnacht (1832), on a poem by Goethe that treats the springtime pagan rituals of the Druids on the Brocken. Goethe himself probably encouraged Mendelssohn to attempt the work during their last meeting in 1830. The poem was intended to symbolize the suppression of old customs by new ideas, in this case, the persecution of the Druids by Christian zealots. Through-composed, the cantata begins with an energetic overture that depicts the end of winter and coming of spring (a topic previously treated by Haydn in the overture to The Seasons; Mendelssohn's transition to spring, in turn, inspired a passage in the first movement of Brahms's Second Symphony). There follow nine connected movements; the climax is reached in nos.5 and 6, in which the Druid guards disguise themselves as devilish figures in order to deflect the assault by the Christians. Here Mendelssohn fortified the orchestra with cymbals and bass drum and experimented with abrupt metrical shifts to achieve that musical confusion so prized by Berlioz when he heard the work in 1843.

Mendelssohn composed several occasional works for choral forces, including the ‘Dürer’ and ‘Humboldt’ cantatas (both 1828), a setting of the Saxon anthem, Gott segne Sachsenland, for Friedrich August II and other festive choruses, among them the Festgesang (‘Möge das Siegeszeichen’, 1838, for a singing society in the Austrian Tyrol), rediscovered in 1996, a setting of Schiller's An die Künstler for Cologne and the Festgesang for the 1840 Gutenberg festival, of which one movement was later adapted by W.H. Cummings as the Christmas carol Hark! the herald angels sing. Of the four sets of partsongs Mendelssohn published, three (for mixed chorus, opp.41, 48 and 59) were intended for performance outdoors and one (for male chorus, op.50) was dedicated to the Leipzig singing societies (other partsongs were issued posthumously). The majority fall into strophic designs and not infrequently attain the artful simplicity of folksong, as in Abschied vom Wald (op.59 no.3) and Hirtenlied (op.88 no.3, an arrangement of the solo lied op.57 no.2); in op.41, Mendelssohn included three Heine settings (nos.2–4) that he labelled separately as ‘Drei Volkslieder’. The preferred poets are Eichendorff, Uhland, Goethe and Heine, and the texts treat, in the main, romantic themes of springtime, forests and wandering.

According to conventional wisdom, Mendelssohn's solo and duet lieder do not rank among his most significant efforts. He remained uninfluenced by the rich corpus of Schubert's songs (it was Zelter who advised Goethe in 1816 to return a parcel of Schubert's Goethe settings, and later Mendelssohn came to know only a few Schubert lieder). Instead, initially his models were the north German lieder, including those of Reichardt and Zelter, in which the piano parts provided only modest accompaniments to the poetry. Many of Mendelssohn's songs are simple strophic settings; only rarely is the accompaniment allotted musically challenging material (e.g. Des Mädchens Klage and the Reiselied op.34 no.6). Of considerably greater interest, however, is the relationship between the songs and the composer's instrumental music. Thus, Frage (op.9 no.1), which is cited and paraphrased in the String Quartet op.13, provided the direct inspiration for the quartet. Scheidend (op.9 no.6) begins with a descending bass figure borrowed from the opening of Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt. The Venetianisches Gondellied op.57 no.5 is stylistically akin to the similarly titled Lieder ohne Worte opp.19 no.6, 30 no.6 and 62 no.5. And the duet Herbstlied (op.63 no.4) was originally conceived for solo piano, titled Lied (1836), to which Klingemann later fitted a text. Like the Lieder ohne Worte, Mendelssohn published his lieder in sets of six, with the exception of opp.8 and 9, which comprise 12 songs each (including six by his sister Fanny, whose authorship was suppressed). Op.9 shows some evidence of a cyclic design: in the first edition, its two halves were subtitled ‘Der Jüngling’ and ‘Das Mädchen’; what is more, the questioning motif of the first song, Frage (‘Ist es wahr?’), is reworked in nos.2 and 3, thereby linking the three together. But, in decided contrast to Schubert and Schumann, Mendelssohn did not fully explore the potential or ramifications of the song cycle.

14. Reception.

Mendelssohn's posthumous fame followed a most unusual trajectory for a major European composer. Already during his lifetime his position at the forefront of German and English culture was secured. His death in 1847 at the age of 38, announced in The Musical World as the ‘eclipse of music’, was mourned as an international tragedy. His memory was soon idealized, most notably in the fictional historical romance by Elizabeth Sheppard, Charles Auchester (1853), in which the composer Seraphael worships the music of Bach and composes a ‘fairy overture’ for an opera on Shakespeare's The Tempest. Thus began a process by which Mendelssohn's music and memory came to be sentimentalized, so that ultimately Bernard Shaw (in the 1880s) could criticize the composer's ‘kid-glove gentility, his conventional sentimentality and his despicable oratorio mongering’. Mendelssohn was inevitably associated with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and his fame was susceptible to late 19th- and early 20th-century critiques of Victorian society and mores. In Germany, after the Revolution of 1848, the classicizing tendencies of his music were increasingly viewed as incongruous with the aims of the new ‘Zukunftsmusik’ promoted by Wagner and others. Mendelssohn's posthumous reputation was also severely tarnished by rising anti-Semitism, as evidenced in Wagner's ‘Das Judenthum in der Musik’, published anonymously at mid-century in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. In the 20th century the rise of Nazism in Germany did further, seemingly irreparable harm: Mendelssohn's music was banned and his statue in front of the Leipzig Conservatory was surreptitiously removed and destroyed (a new statue was unveiled before the Neues Gewandhaus in 1993). Nietzsche's formulation in Jenseits von Gut und Böse (1886), that Mendelssohn was a ‘lovely interlude’ in German music, was interpreted to confirm the composer's intermediary position between Beethoven and Wagner. Even Friedrich Niecks, who took up Mendelssohn's defence (Niecks, J1875), conceded that the

serene beauty of Mendelssohn's music has to most of us not the same charm as the rugged energy, the subtle thoughtfulness and morbid world-weariness of other composers. As the Romans of old took delight in the struggle and writhing agony of the gladiator, so we of the present day enjoy watching the beats and throes of the human heart as exhibited by our tone and word poets, the gladiators of modern times.

But a century later Mendelssohn scholarship began to focus on the wealth of surviving primary sources, including manuscripts, sketches, diaries, paintings and correspondence, a substantial amount of which remained unpublished by the late 1990s. Investigation of these materials for the first complete edition of Mendelssohn's music and letters will undoubtedly reveal much new information about this critical figure in 19th-century musical life, who, if he missed true greatness, may have missed it, as the American critic H.L. Mencken suggested, ‘by a hair’.



Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s Werke: kritisch durchgesehene Ausgabe, ed. J. Rietz (Leipzig, 1874–7) [R]

Leipziger Ausgabe der Werke Feliz Mendelssohn Bartholdys, ed. Internationale Felix-Mendelssohn-Gesellschaft (Leipzig, 1960–77) [L1]

Leipziger Ausgabe der Werke von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, ed. Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Leipzig, 1997–) [L2]

printed works published in Leipzig unless otherwise stated

* autograph




Genre, text



Publication or MS


Quel bonheur pour mon coeur

dramatic scene

c March 1820

Berlin ?15 March 1820


Ich, J. Mendelssohn …

Lustspiel, 3 scenes, Mendelssohn

c ?Aug–Dec 1820

frag. D-B*

Die Soldatenliebschaft

Singspiel, 1, J.L. Casper

Dec 1820

Berlin, 3 Feb 1821


L’homme automate, farce, ov. based on folksongs

cFeb 1821

Berlin, 3 Feb 1821

frag. GB-Ob

Die beiden Pädagogen

Singspiel, 1, Casper, after E. Scribe: Les deux précepteurs

c15 March 1821

Berlin, April 1821 (for J.N. Hummel, with str qt acc.); Berlin, 27 May 1962

ed., 1966

L1 v/1

Die wandernden Komödianten

Singspiel, 1, Casper

9 Dec 1821

rehearsed, Berlin, 8 March 1822; perf. ?April 1822


Die beiden Neffen oder Der Onkel aus Boston

Singspiel, 3, Casper

6 Nov 1823

Berlin, 7 Feb 1824



Die Hochzeit des Camacho

Singspiel, 2, ? A. Klingemann or F. Voigts, after M. de Cervantes: Don Quixote (dialogue lost)

10 Aug 1825

Berlin, 29 April 1827; rev. version, Oxford, 24 Feb 1987

vs (rev.) Berlin, 1828, fs ed., 1878

R xv/8


Heimkehr aus der Fremde

Liederspiel, 1, K. Klingemann

19 Dec 1829

Berlin, 26 Dec 1829


R xv/9

Der standhafte Prinz

incidental music, after A. Calderón de la Barca: El príncipe constante

18 March 1833

Düsseldorf, 9 April 1833


Trala. A frischer Bua bin i (Schnadahüpferl) and Franzosenmarsch (lost)

for K. Immermann’s Andreas Hofer

9 Dec 1833

? Düsseldorf, 26 April 1834


Ruy Blas: Romance, female vv, str (duet arr.: see vocal duets, op.77/3; ov.: see orchestral, op.95)

incidental music, V. Hugo

14 Feb 1839

Leipzig, 11 March 1839


R xviii/5



incidental music, Sophocles

10 Oct 1841

Potsdam, 28 Oct 1841

vs, 1843; fs ed., 1851

R xv/1


A Midsummer Night’s Dream (ov.: see orchestral, op.21)

incidental music, W. Shakespeare


Potsdam, 14 Oct 1843

vs, 1844; fs, 1848

R xv/4


Oedipus at Colonus

incidental music, Sophocles

25 Feb 1845

Potsdam, 1 Nov 1845

vs ed., 1851, fs ed., 1852

R xv/3



incidental music, J. Racine

12 Nov 1845

Berlin-Charlottenburg, 1 Dec 1845


R xv/2


Die Lorelei, frag. (Ave Maria, 1.iii, Winzer-Chor, 1.iv, Finale, 1.viii; frags., incl. choral march and qt, 1.vii)

opera, 3, E. Geibel and E. Devrient


Leipzig, 1850

Finale, ed. 1852, Ave Maria and Winzer-Chor, ed. 1868; frags., PL-Kj*

R xv/10







Publication or MS



St Paul (Paulus) (see also solo songs, op.112)

J. Schubring, after The Acts of the Apostles; Eng. version by W. Ball

18 April 1836

Düsseldorf, 22 May 1836

vs, Bonn, 1836, fs, Bonn, 1837; several unpubd numbers, D-B*

R xiii/1


Elijah (Elias) (see also psalms, Er wird öffnen die Augen der Blinden, and motets, Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen über dir)

Schubring, after I Kings xvii–xix; Eng. version by W. Bartholomew

11 Aug 1846; rev. 1847

Birmingham, 26 Aug 1846; Manchester, London, Birmingham, April 1847

Bonn, 1847

R xiii/2


Christus, inc. (orig. entitled Erde, Himmel und Hölle)

J.F. von Bunsen, after Matthew, Luke, John, Mark, Numbers xxiv


Birmingham, Sept 1852


R xiii/3



Sinfonia no.1, C, str, 1821, before 5 Sept; L1 i/1

Sinfonia no.2, D, str, 1821, before 5 Sept; L1 i/1

Sinfonia no.3, e, str, 1821, before 5 Sept; L1 i/1

Sinfonia no.4, c, str, 5 Sept 1821; L1 i/1

Sinfonia no.5, B♭, str, 15 Sept 1821; L1 i/1

Sinfonia no.6, E♭, str, aut. 1821; L1 i/1

Sinfonia no.7, d, str, 1821–2; L1 i/1

Sinfonia no.8, D, str, 27 Nov 1822, arr. orch, Nov–?Dec 1822; L1 i/2

Violin Concerto, d, str, 1822, ed. Y. Menuhin (New York, 1952); L1 ii/6

Piano Concerto, a, str, 1822, ? perf. Berlin, 5 Dec 1822; L2 ii/1

Sinfonia no.9, C, str, 12 March 1823; L1 i/3

Concerto, d, vn, pf, str, 6 May 1823, arr. orch ?May–July 1823, GB-Ob*, perf. Berlin, 3 July 1823, fs, L2 ii/8

Sinfonia no.10, b, str, 18 May 1823; L1 i/3

Sinfonia [no.11], F, str, 12 July 1823; L1 i/3

Fuga [Sinfonia no.12], g, str, 17 Sept 1823; L1 i/3

Concerto, E, 2 pf, 17 Oct 1823, perf. Berlin, 7 Dec 1823, fs, first movement, ed. S.D. Lindeman (Madison, WI, 1999), rev. July 1829, perf. London, 13 July 1829; L1 ii/4

Sinfonia [no.13], c, str, 1 movt only, 29 Dec 1823; L1 i/3


Symphony no.1, c, 31 March 1824, perf. Berlin 14 Nov 1824, arr. pf duet, vn, vc (London, 1830), orch parts (Berlin, 1834), fs (Berlin, 1854); perf. London, 25 May 1829, with arr. of op.20/3 as 3rd movt (London, 1911); R i/1


Overture for wind instruments, C, 1st version as Harmoniemusik, 11 wind insts, July 1824, rev. 27 June 1826; rev. for wind orch, ? c Nov 1838, parts (Bonn, 1839), fs (Bonn, 1852); R vii/1

Concerto, A♭, 2 pf, 12 Nov 1824, perf. Stettin, 20 Feb 1827; L1 ii/5


Overture (‘Trumpet’), C, c1825, 2nd version? 4 March 1826, perf. Berlin 2 Nov 1925; rev. 10 April 1833, perf. London, 10 June 1833 (1867); R ii/10


Ein Sommernachtstraum, ov., E, after W. Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream, 6 Aug 1826, perf. Stettin, 20 Feb 1827, parts (1832), fs (1835); R ii/2

Kindersymphonie, perf. Berlin, 24 Dec 1827, for Rebecka Mendelssohn, lost


Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt, ov., D, after J.W. von Goethe, c May 1828, perf. Berlin, 8 Sept 1828, rev. March 1834 (1835); R ii/4

Kindersymphonie, perf. Berlin, 24 Dec 1828, lost


Die Hebriden (‘Fingalshöhle’), b, 1st version, Ouvertüre zur einsamen Insel, 11 Dec 1830, 2nd version, Die Hebriden, 16 Dec 1830, 3rd version, The Isles of Fingal, 6 June 1832, arr. piano duet, 14 June 1832, 4th version, The Hebrides, 20 June 1832; perf. London, 14 May 1832 (1833), as Fingals Höhle, pf duet (1833), fs (1835); R ii/3; see also Mendelssohn Bartholdy, E1947


Symphony no.5, ‘Reformation’, D, 12 May 1830, orig. for 25 June 1830 anniversary of Augsburg Confession, alternative ending 11 Nov 1832, perf. Berlin, 15 Nov 1832 (Bonn, 1868); R i/4


Piano Concerto no.1, g, Oct 1831, perf. Munich, 17 Oct 1831, pts (London, 1832), fs ed. (1862); R viii/1


Capriccio brillant, b, pf, 18 May 1832, perf. London, 25 May 1832, solo pf (1832), fs ed. (1862); R viii/3; arr. pf, 18 Sept 1831, F-Pn*


Symphony no.4, ‘Italian’, A, 13 March 1833, perf. London, 13 May 1833, movts 2–4 rev. June 1834 (1851); R i/3; see also Cooper, E1997

Procession march for Harmoniemusik, ww, E♭, ? Oct 1833, ? perf. Düsseldorf, 20 Oct 1833, GB-Ob* (copy)


Ouverture zum Märchen von der schönen Melusine (‘Die schöne Melusine’), F, after F. Grillparzer, 14 Nov 1833, perf. London, 7 April 1834, rev. aut. 1835 (1836); R ii/5

Two marches for Harmonie Musik, ww, E♭, ?1833–4, one performed 29 May 1834 ?Düsseldorf, Ob* (copy attrib. Mendelssohn)


Rondo brillant, E♭, pf, 29 Jan 1834, perf. London, 8 May 1834, solo pf (London, 1834), fs ed. (1865); R viii/4


Trauermarsch, a, wind, May 1836 (1868), for funeral of N. Burgmüller; R vii/2


Piano Concerto no.2, d, c3 Sept 1837, perf. Birmingham, 21 Sept 1837, pts (London, 1838), fs ed. (1862); R viii/2


Serenade und Allegro giojoso, b/D, pf, 1 April 1838, perf. Leipzig, 2 April 1838; rev. Dec 1838, pts (Bonn, 1839), fs ed. (Bonn, 1861/2); R viii/5

Symphony, B♭, 1838–9, inc., D-B*


Ruy Blas, ov., c, after V. Hugo, 8 March 1839, perf. Leipzig, 11 March 1839 (1851); R ii/9


Symphony no.2 (‘Lobgesang’), symphony-cantata, B♭, last movt with solo vv, chorus, org, perf. Leipzig, 25 June 1840, rev. 27 Nov 1840 (1841); R xiv/A6


March, D, April 1841, perf. Dresden, ? 29 April 1841 (1868), for P. Cornelius; R iii


Symphony no.3, ‘Scottish’, a, 20 Jan 1842, perf. Leipzig, 3 March 1842, arr. pf duet (London, 1842), fs (1843); R i/2

Concerto, e, pf, 1842–4, inc., GB-Ob* [see Todd, I(i)1982]


Violin Concerto, e, 16 Sept 1844, perf. Leipzig, 13 March 1845, pts (1845), fs ed. (1862); R iv, see also Bianchi and Sciannameo, E1991

Symphony, C, 1844–5, inc., Ob*


Allegro, C, vn, pf, c1820, ed. in Todd, I(iv)1983

Andante, d, vn, pf, 1820, ed. in Todd, I(iv)1983

Movement, g, vn, pf, c1820, ed. in Todd, I(iv)1983

Theme and Variations, C, vn, pf, c1820, ed. in Todd, I(iv)1983

Fugue, d, vn, pf, 1820, D-B*

Piece, C, vn, pf, 1820, inc., D-B*

Recitativo (‘Largo’), d, pf, 2 vn, vc, db, 7 March 1820, D-B*

Trio, c, vn, va, pf, 9 May 1820, ed. in McDonald, I(i)1970

Minuet, G, vn, pf, c3 Dec 1820, D-B*

Sonata, F, vn, pf, 1820, ed. R. Unger (1977)

Sonata, d, vn, pf, c Dec 1820, inc., D-B*

[3] Fugues, d, g, d, vn, pf, Dec 1820 – c Jan 1821, ed. in Todd, I(iv)1983; see also organ [Five Little Pieces]

[12] Fugues, str qt, March–May 1821, D-B*: d, 24 March, C, 28 March, d, 4 April, d, 7 April, c, 11 April, d, 18 April, c, 27 April, c, 2 May, g, c May, F (on chorale ‘Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern’), c May, A, c May, C, c May

Piano Quartet, d, 1821, ed. in McDonald, I(i)1970


Piano Quartet no.1, c, 18 Oct 1822 (Berlin, 1823), R ix/2

String Quartet, E♭, 5 March [?April] 1823, ed. (Berlin, 1879)


Sonata, f, vn, pf, 3 June 1823 (Berlin, 1824); R ix/7


Piano Quartet no.2, f, 3 Dec 1823 (Berlin, 1825); R ix/3

Sonata, c, va, pf, 14 Feb 1824, ed. (Leipzig, 1966)

Sonata, E♭, cl, pf, 17 April ?1824, ded. ? K. von Kaskel, ed. G. Allroggen (Kassel, 1987)


Sextet, D, vn, 2 va, vc, db, pf, 10 May 1824 (1868); R ix/1


Piano Quartet no.3, b, 18 Jan 1825, perf. Weimar, May 1825 (Berlin, 1825); R ix/4


Octet, E♭, 4 vn, 2 va, 2 vc, 15 Oct 1825, pts, arr. pf duet (1833), fs (1848), see also orchestral [op.11]; R v/1; see also Newsom, E1976


Quintet no.1, A, 2 vn, 2 va, vc, 1st version with Minuetto, f♯, 31 March 1826, US-NYpm*, 2nd version with Intermezzo, 23 Feb 1832, parts (Bonn, 1833), fs (Bonn, 1849); R v/2


String Quartet no.2, a, 26 Oct 1827, parts (1830), fs (1842); R vi/2, L1 iii/1


Fugue, E♭, str qt, 1 Nov 1827, parts (1850), fs (1851); R vi/7


Variations concertantes, D, vc, pf, 30 Jan 1829, perf. London, 15 June 1829 (London, 1830); R ix/8


String Quartet no.1, E♭, 14 Sept 1829, parts (1830), fs (1848); R vi/1, L1 iii/1

The Evening Bell, hp, pf, Nov 1829, ed. (London, 1876)


Concert Piece, f/F, cl, basset-hn, pf, 30 Dec 1832, perf. Berlin, 1 Jan 1833 (Offenbach, 1869), arr. orch, 6 Jan 1833, ed. Trio di Clarone (Wiesbaden, 1989); R vii/3 [pf version]


Concert Piece, d, cl, basset-hn, pf, 19 Jan 1833 (Offenbach, 1869), orchd C. Baermann; R vii/4 [pf version]

Assai tranquillo, b, vc, pf, 25 July 1835, for J. Rietz, facs. in Sietz, H1962


String Quartets nos.3–5, parts (1839), fs (1840): D, 24 July 1838, perf. Leipzig, 16 Feb 1839; e, 18 June 1837, perf. Leipzig, 19 Nov 1837; E♭, 6 Feb 1838, perf. Leipzig, 29 Feb 1840; R vi, L1 iii/2

Sonata, F, vn, pf, 15 June 1838, ed. Y. Menuhin (New York, 1953)


Cello Sonata no.1, B♭, 13 Oct 1838 (1839); R ix/9


Piano Trio no.1, d, early version, 18 July 1839; 2nd version, 23 Sept 1839 (1840); R ix/5


Cello Sonata no.2, D, c June 1843, perf. Leipzig, 18 Nov 1843 (1843); R ix/10


Capriccio, e, str qt, 5 July 1843, parts (1850), fs (1851); R vi/7


Piano Trio no.2, c, 30 April 1845 (1846); R ix/6


Quintet no.2, B♭, 2 vn, 2 va, vc, 8 July 1845 (1851); R v/3


Lied ohne Worte, D, vc, pf, ? c Oct 1845 (1868); R ix/11


String Quartet no.6, f, Sept 1847, parts (1850), fs (1851); R vi/6


Andante sostenuto and Variations, E, str, qt, c Aug 1847, parts (1850), fs (1851); R vi/7


Scherzo, a, str qt, c Aug 1847, parts (1850), fs (1851); R vi/7

Theme, A, str qt, inc., GB-Ob*

Piano Trio, A, inc., Ob*

Sonata, D/d, vn, pf, 1st movt (Adagio, Allegro molto), inc., D-B*

Piano solo

Theme and Variations, D, c1820, ed. in R.L. Todd (works: 1983)

Four Little Pieces, c1820: G, g (canon), G, g (canon), ed. in R.L. Todd (works: 1983)

Andante (Minuet and Trio), F, 1820, D-B*

Piano piece, e, 1820, inc., D-B*

Andante, C, 1820, inc., D-B*

Largo (Fugue a 3), d, 1820, D-B*

Two pieces, untitled: f, d, 1820, D-B*

Adagio, D, 1820, D-B*

[Fantasy], b/d, 1820, D-B*

Six Little Pieces (Etudes), 1820, D-B*: Allegro, C, untitled, g, Andante, A, untitled, b, untitled, a, untitled e

Largo-Allegro, c, 1820 D-B*

Sonata, f, 1820, D-B*

[Fugue], d, 11 May 1820, D-B*

Sonata, a, 12 May 1820, D-B*

Presto, c, 1 July 1820, D-B*

Sonata, e, 13 July 1820, D-B*

Two studies, d, a, 28 Dec 1820, D-B*

Study, F, ?1820, inc., D-B*

Allegro, a, 5 Jan 1821

Study, C, 30 March 1821, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)


Sonata, g, 18 Aug 1821 (1868); R xi/III

Sonatina (Lento–Moderato), E, 13 Dec 1821, D-B*

Largo–Allegro di molto, c/C, ?1821–2, D-B*

Three Fugues, d, d, b, ?1822, D-B*

Fantasia (Adagio–Allegro), c/D, 19 Feb 1823, D-B*

Sonata, b♭, 27 Nov 1823, ed. R.L. Todd (New York, 1981)

Capriccio, E♭/e♭, ? c1823–4, ded. L. Heidemann, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)

Prestissimo, f, 19 Aug 1824, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)

Fugue, g, 11 Sept 1824, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)


Capriccio, f♯, 23 July 1825 (Berlin, 1825); R xi/I

Fugue, c♯, 5 Jan 1826, D-B*

Vivace, c, 29 Jan 1826, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)

Andante and Canon, D, ? c Jan 1826, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)


Sonata, E, 22 March 1826 (Berlin, 1826); R xi/I


Sieben Charakterstücke (Berlin, 1827): e, 6 June 1826, b, 17 July 1824, D, A, 4 June 1826, A, e, E; R xi/I

Fugue, E♭, 11 Sept 1826, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)


Perpetuum mobile, C, 24 Nov 1826, ded. I. Moscheles (1873); R xi/III


Fantasia, E, on ‘The Last Rose of Summer’, ?1827 (London, 1830); R xi/I


Sonata, B♭, 31 May 1827 (1868); R xi/III

Fugue, e, 16 June 1827, added to Prelude of 13 July 1841

Piece, untitled, e, 24 Jan 1828, D-B*

Lied, E♭, 14 Nov 1828, for Fanny Mendelssohn, D-B*, facs. in Mendelssohn-Studien, viii (Berlin, 1993)

Scherzo, b, 12 June 1829, pubd in Berliner allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, vi (1829); R xi/I


Trois fantaisies ou caprices (Vienna, 1831): a, 4 Sept 1829, e, 13 Nov 1829, E, ‘Am Bache’, 4 Sept 1829; R xi/I

Andante con moto, A, 3 June 1830, ded. O. von Goethe, ed. J. Draheim (Wiesbaden, 1984)

Andante, A, 13 June 1830, D-B*


Rondo capriccioso, E, 13 June 1830 (London, 1830); early version, étude, 4 Jan 1828, US-NYpm*; R xi/I


Lieder ohne Worte, i (Bonn, 1833), orig. pubd as Original Melodies for the Pianoforte (London, 1832): E, a, 11 Dec 1830, ‘Jägerlied’, A, A, 14 Sept 1829, f♯, Venetianisches Gondellied, g, 16 Oct 1830; R xi/IV

Walzer, D, Trio, B♭, ? c Aug 1831, D-LEu*

Con moto, A, 3 Nov 1831, US-NYpm*

Cadenza for Mozart's Piano Concerto k365/316a, 1 June 1832 (auction catalogue, London, May 1977); see also piano solo [cadenza, 1840]


Fantasia (Sonate écossaise), f♯, early version ? 1828–9, 29 Jan 1833 (Bonn, 1834); R xi/I

Two Musical Sketches: Andante cantabile, B♭, c April–Aug 1833, Presto agitato, g, in Musical Gems for 1834 (London, 1833); R xi/III


Lieder ohne Worte, ii (Bonn, 1835): E♭, b♭, 26 June 1830, 2nd version 30 Sept 1830, E, b, 30 Jan 1834, D, 12 Dec 1833, Venetianisches Gondellied, f♯; R xi/IV


Trois caprices (1836): a, 9 April 1834, E, 12 Sept 1835, b♭, 25 July 1833; R xi/II

Scherzo a capriccio, f♯, 29 Oct 1835, pubd in L'album des pianistes (Paris, 1836); R xi/1

Etude (Praeludium), f, 13 March 1836, pubd in I. Moscheles and F.-J. Fétis's Méthode des méthodes de piano (Paris and Berlin, 1840/R, Eng. trans., 1841); R xi/I


Three Studies (1868): b♭, 9 June 1836, F, 21 April 1834, a; R xi/III


Allegro, e, ? June – July 1836, ed. (London, 1859), ? ded. F.W. Benecke; R xi/III

Lied, f♯, 16 Oct 1836, D-B* arr. 2vv, pf as Herbstlied op.63 no.4


Three Preludes (1868): B♭, 9 Dec 1836, b, 12 Oct 1836, D, 27 Nov 1836; R xi/III


Six Preludes and Fugues, 9 Jan 1837 (1837): e/E, prelude 1835–6, fugue 16 June 1827; D, prelude 6 Dec 1836, fugue c 11 Jan 1835 (‘fughetta’ for org); b, prelude 8 Dec 1836, fugue 21 Dec 1832; A♭, prelude 7 Oct 1836, fugue 6 Jan 1835; f, prelude 19 Nov 1836, fugue 3 Dec 1834; B♭, prelude 3 Jan 1837, fugue 27 Nov 1836; R xi/II


Lieder ohne Worte, iii (Bonn, 1837): E♭, c ? Feb - April 1837, c, 29 March 1836, E, 2 Jan 1835, A, before 9 Sept 1836, a, 5 April 1837, Duetto, A♭, 27 June 1836; R xi/IV

Gondellied (Barcarole), A, 5 Feb 1837, pubd as suppl. to NZM, xiv (1841), July; R xi/I

Allegretto, A, 22 April 1837, pubd in Jede Woche Musik (29 Oct 1927), facs. in J. Petitpierre, H1937


Capriccio, E, 11 July 1837 (1872); R xi/III

Andante cantabile and Presto agitato, B, 22 June 1838, pubd in Album musical 1839 (1838); R xi/I

Sonata, G, c1839–?1841, inc., GB-Ob*, facs. in Todd, G1991

Cadenza for Mozart Piano Concerto k365/316a, 30 Jan 1840, GB-LEbc*, see also piano solo [cadenza, 1932]


Lieder ohne Worte, iv (Bonn, 1841): A♭, 28 Feb 1839, E♭, 24 Feb 1835, Gondellied, g, 14 March 1839, Abendlied, F, 1 May 1841, Volkslied, a, 30 April 1841, A, 1 May 1841; R xi/IV


Variations sérieuses, d, 4 June 1841, pubd in Album-Beethoven (Vienna, 1841); R xi/II

Prelude and Fugue, e, pubd in Notre temps: Album pour 1842 (Mainz, 1841/2): prelude 13 July 1841, added to fugue of 16 June 1827; R xi/III


Variations, E♭, 25 July 1841 (1850); R xi/II


Variations, B♭, c July 1841 (1850); R xi/II; see also piano duet [op.83a]

Andante, E♭, c June 1842, orig. part of op.72, ed. H.O. Hieckel (Munich, 1969)

Sostenuto, F, c June 1842, orig. part of op.72, Ob*


Sechs Kinderstücke (‘Christmas Pieces’) (London, 1847); G, 24 June 1842, E♭, G, 21 June 1842, D, g, F; R xi/II; see also Andante, E♭, Sostenuto, F

Bärentanz, F, 11 July 1842, for Hilda Benecke, facs. in MT, l (1909), 88

Lied [ohne Worte], D, c19 Jan 1843, inc., S-Smf*

Lied [ohne Worte], D, Allegro assai, 18 March 1843, PL-Kj*


Lieder ohne Worte, v (Bonn, 1844): G, 12 Jan 1844, B♭, 29 July 1843, ‘Trauermarsch’, e, 19 Jan 1843, G, Venetianisches Gondellied, a, 24 Jan 1841, ‘Frühlingslied’, A, 1 June 1842; R xi/IV; see also piano duet

Lied ohne Worte (Allegro marcato alla marcia), d, 12 Dec 1844, 2nd version, Reiterlied, 18 Dec 1846; ed. E. Walker (London, 1947)


Lieder ohne Worte, vi (Bonn, 1845): E♭, 29 July 1843, f♯, 5 April 1839, 2nd version 3 May 1845, B♭, 23 Nov ?1844, ‘Spinnerlied’, C, 5 May 1845, b, 5 Jan 1844, E, 29 April 1841; R xi/IV, see also piano duet


Lieder ohne Worte, vii (Bonn, 1851): F, a, 9 June 1834, E♭, 19 Aug 1835, D, 6 May 1845, A, 7 May 1845, B♭, 1 May 1841; R xi/IV


Lieder ohne Worte, viii (Bonn, 1868): e, 1 June 1842, D, 11 May 1845, ‘Kinderstück’, C, 12 Dec 1845, g, ? 4 Feb 1841, ‘Kinderstück’, A, 12 Dec 1845, C; R xi/IV

Lied [ohne Worte] (Allegro molto), E♭, inc., GB-Ob*

Fugue, E♭, Andante, inc., Ob*

Andante sostenuto, E, inc., Ob*

Allegretto, a, Ob* (copy)

Lied ohne Worte, F, ded. Doris Loewe, see Kahn, I(i)1923–4

Galloppade, lost [Liepmannssohn auction catalogue, 1930]

Fugue, e, inc., D-B*

Allegro vivace, f, LEm* (copy)

Allegro moderato, E♭, inc., Leipzig, Stadtarchiv Gewandhaus*

Piano duet

Fantasia, d/D, 15 March 1824, D-B*


Allegro brillant, A, 23 March 1841, version with Andante slow introduction (Duet), 26 March 1841, perf. Leipzig 31 March 1841, F-Pn* (1851), ed. E.-G. Heinemann (Munich, 1994); R x


Variations, B♭, 10 Feb 1844, perf. London, 25 June 1844 (1850), based on op.83 for pf solo; R x

Seven Lieder ohne Worte, arr. of op.62 nos.1-6 and op.67 no.1, 9 June 1844, ded. Prince Albert, ed. R. Langley (Kassel, 1982)

Andante, g, inc., GB-Ob*

Two pianos

Sonata, D, ? c Nov 1819, ed. J. Draheim (Wiesbaden, 1997) [attrib. Mendelssohn]

Sonata movement, g, 21 Feb ? 1820, J. Draheim (Wiesbaden, 1997) [attrib. Mendelssohn]

Variations brillantes on march from C.M. von Weber's Preciosa, c, c April 1833, perf. London, 1 May 1833, collab. I. Moscheles, pubd as Moscheles's op.87b (1833), version with orch, 1849


Five Little Pieces, D-B*: Fugue, d, 3 Dec 1820, Fugue, g, Dec 1820, Fugue, d, 6 Jan 1821, ed. Wm.A. Little (1977), untitled, d, c Dec 1820, ed. Wm.A. Little (London, 1990), Prelude, d, 28 Nov 1820, ed. L. Altman (1969); see also chamber [(3) Fugues]

Fantasia and Fugue [on subject of Sinfonia no.12], g, ? before 17 Sept 1823 (inc.), ed. Wm.A. Little (London, 1990)

Wie gross ist des Allmächt'gen Güte, chorale prelude, 3 variations, 30 July – 2 Aug 1823, ed. Wm.A. Little (1977)

Andante, D, 9 May 1823, ed. Wm.A. Little (1977)

[Passacaglia], c, 10 May 1823, ed. Wm.A. Little (London, 1990)

Organ piece, A, c 24 Aug – 1 Sept 1829, for wedding of Fanny Mendelssohn, 3 Oct 1829, lost, re-used in op.65 no.3

Nachspiel, D, 8 March 1831, ed. Wm.A. Little (1977), re-used in op.65 no.2

Andante con moto, g, 11 July 1833, for Vincent Novello, ed. Wm.A. Little (London, 1990)

Two Fugues for the Organ, C, D, c 11 Jan 1835, ded. T. Attwood [duet arr. of op.37 no.1 and solo arr. of op.35 no.2], ed. Wm.A. Little (1989)


Three Preludes and Fugues (1837): c, prelude 2 April 1837, fugue 30 July 1834; G, prelude 4 April 1837, fugue 1 Dec 1836; d, prelude 6 April 1837, fugue 29 March 1833; early versions of fugues 1 and 3, ed. Wm.A. Little (1977); R xii/1

Fugue, e, 13 July 1839, ed. J. Bonfils (Paris, 1956)

Fugue, C, 14 July 1839, ed. J. Bonfils (Paris, 1956), re-used in op.65 no.2

Fugue, f, 18 July 1839, ed. (London, 1885), perf. London, 30 Sept 1840, ed. L. Altman (1962); 2nd version, 10 Sept 1844, GB-Ob*, pubd in Parkins and Todd, I(i)1983 [intended for op.65 no.1]

[O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden], chorale prelude, d, ? c Aug 1840, inc., ? perf. Leipzig, 6 Aug 1840, Ob*, pubd in Todd, I(i)1995

Prelude, c, 9 July 1841, for Henry E. Dibdin, pubd in Exeter Hall, i/2 (1868), 54–7, ed. L. Altman (1969)

Three Little Pieces, PL-Kj*: Andante, F, 21 July 1844, Allegretto, d, 22 July 1844 [re-used in op.65 no.5], Allegro, d/D, 25 July 1844, ed. Wm.A. Little (London, 1987)

Two Pieces, PL-Kj*, ed. (London, 1898): Andante with variations, D, 23 July 1844, Allegro, B♭, 31 Dec 1844

Chorale, A♭, 10 Sept 1844, ? intended for op.65 no.1, pubd in MT, xlvii (1906), 99


Six Sonatas (1845): f/F, 28 Dec 1844, c/C, 21 Dec 1844, A, 17 Aug 1844, B♭, 2 Jan 1845, D, 9 Sept 1844, d/D, 27 Jan 1845; R xii/2

Andante alla marcia, B♭, 2 Jan 1845, re-used in op.65 no.4, ed. Wm.A. Little (London, 1988)

Andante sostenuto, D, 26 Jan 1845, re-used in op.65 no.6, ed. Wm.A. Little (London, 1988)

Fugue, B♭, 2 April 1845, re-used in op.65 no.4, PL-Kj*

Chorale, D, 1844–5, for op.65, PL-Kj*

Psalms, sacred cantatas, larger sacred works

Gloria, E♭, solo vv, chorus, orch, early 1822, ed. in Hatteberg, I(ii)1995, 225

Psalm lxvi, C, double female chorus, bc, 8 March 1822, ed. P. Zappalà (Stuttgart, 1998)

Magnificat, D, solo vv, chorus, orch, 31 May 1822, ed. P. Zappalà (Stuttgart, 1996); L2 vi/5

Salve regina, E♭, S, str, 9 April ?1824, pubd in Werner, I(iv)1930, ed. G. Graulich (Stuttgart, 1979)

Kyrie, d, chorus 5vv, orch, 6 May 1825, perf. Berlin, 13 Oct 1825, vs, ed. R. Leavis (Oxford, 1964), fs, ed. R.L. Todd (Stuttgart, 1986)

Te Deum, D, solo vv, double chorus, bc, 5 Dec 1826, rehearsed Berlin, 12 Feb 1827; L1 vi/1

Was Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit, chorus, 29 April 1827, D-B*

Christe, du Lamm Gottes, F, chorale cantata, chorus, orch, Christmas 1827, ed. O. Bill (Stuttgart, 1978)

Jesu, meine Freude, e, chorale cantata, chorus, str, 22 Jan 1828, facs., with introduction by O. Jonas (Chicago, 1966), ed. B. Pritchard (Hilversum, 1972)

Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten, a, chorale cantata, solo v, chorus, str, c April–July 1829, ed. O. Bill (Kassel, 1976)

O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden, c, chorale cantata, solo v, chorus, orch, 13 Sept 1830, perf. Leipzig, 4 Nov 1853, ed. R.L. Todd (Madison, WI, 1981)


Psalm cxv, g, solo vv, chorus, orch, 15 Nov 1830, perf. Frankfurt, 19 Nov 1834, 2nd version, c May 1835, perf. Leipzig, 8 Feb 1838 (Bonn, 1835), orig. after Vulgate version, Non nobis Domine; R xiv/A1

Vom Himmel hoch, C, chorale cantata, solo vv, chorus, orch, 28 Jan 1831, ed. K. Lehmann (Stuttgart, 1985)

Verleih' uns Frieden, E♭, chorus, orch, 10 Feb 1831, ded. E.H.W. Verkenius; facs. in AMZ, xli, suppl. for 5 June 1839, perf. Leipzig, 30 Oct 1839; R xiv/A3

Wir glauben all' an einen Gott, d, chorale cantata, chorus, orch, c March 1831, ed. G. Graulich (Stuttgart, 1980)

Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh' darein, a, chorale cantata, solo vv, chorus, orch, 5 April 1832, ded. J.N. Schelble, ed. B. Pritchard (Hilversum, 1972)

Te Deum, Morning Service, A, solo vv, chorus, org, c 22 Aug 1832, perf. London, 30 Nov 1846 (London, 1846); R xiv/B7


Responsorium et Hymnus, Vespergesang,a, male vv, vc, b, org, 5 Feb 1833, perf. Berlin, 1834 (1873); R xiv/B4


Psalm xlii, F, solo vv, chorus, orch, org, 1st version, July 1837, 2nd version, 22 Dec 1837, final version, Jan 1838; perf. Leipzig, 1 Jan 1838 and 8 Feb 1838 (1838/9); R xiv/A2


Psalm xcv, E♭/g, solo vv, chorus, orch, 6 April 1838, perf. Leipzig, 21 Feb 1839, rev. 11 April 1839, rev. 3 July 1841, perf. Leipzig, 22 Nov 1841 (1842); R xiv/A3

Psalm v (Lord hear the voice), chorus, 26 Feb 1839, ed. P. Zappalà (Stuttgart, 1997)

Psalm xxxi (Defend me, Lord), chorus, 27 Feb 1839, pubd in National Psalmodist (London, 1840), ed. P. Zappalà (Stuttgart, 1997)


Psalm cxiv, G, 8vv, orch, 9 Aug 1839, ded. J.W. Schirmer, perf. Leipzig, 1 Jan 1840, rev. 1840 (1841); R xiv/A4

Psalm melodies and harmonizations, chorus, 13 Nov 1843: Pss ii, xxiv, xxxi, xci, xciii, xcviii, c, ed. P. Zappalà (Stuttgart, 1997)


Psalm xcviii, D, solo vv, double chorus, orch, org, 27 Dec 1843, perf. Berlin, 1 Jan 1844 (1851); R xiv/A5

Psalm c (Jauchzet den Herrn), chorus, C, 1 Jan 1844, for the Hamburg Temple, ed. in Musica sacra, viii (Berlin, 1855); R xiv/C4


Three psalms (1849): Ps ii, g, solo vv, chorus, 15 Dec 1843, perf. Berlin, 24 Dec 1843, rev. March 1845; Ps xliii, d, 8vv, 3 Jan 1844, rev. March 1845; Ps xxii, e, solo vv, chorus, Feb 1844, perf. Berlin, 29 March 1844; R xiv/C1–3; early version, Psii, xliii, ed. D. Brodeck (Stuttgart, 1998)


Lauda Sion, C, solo vv, chorus, orch, 10 Feb 1846, perf. Liège, 11 June 1846 (London, 1848); R xiv/A7

Er wird öffnen die Augen der Blinden, chorus, orch, before 9 Aug 1846, PL-Kj*, vs ed. in MT, xxiv (1883), 182–3 [intended for Elijah]

Motets, anthems, other shorter sacred pieces

Psalm xix (Die Himmel erzählen, chorus 5vv; Ein Tag sagt's dem andern, S, A, pf; Er hat der Sonne, chorus 4vv; Das Gesetz des Herrn, chorus 6vv), 16 June – c Aug 1821, perf. Berlin, 18 Sept 1821, ed. P. Zappalà (Stuttgart, 1998)

Gott, du bist unsre Zuversicht (Ps xlvi), 5vv, c June–Aug 1821, ed. P. Zappalà (Stuttgart, 1998)

Ich will den Herrn nach seiner Gerechtigkeit preisen (Ps vii), 4vv, c June–Aug 1821, ed. P. Zappalà (Stuttgart, 1998)

Tag für Tag sei Gott gepriesen, 5vv, c June–Aug 1821, ed. P. Zappalà (Stuttgart, 1998)

Deine Rede präge ich meinem Herzen ein, 4vv (Ps cxix), ?1821, ed. P. Zappalà (Stuttgart, 1993)

Ich weiche nicht von deinen Rechten (Ps cxix), 4vv, ?1821, ed. P. Zappalà (Stuttgart, 1998)

Jube Domine, C, solo vv, double chorus, 25 Oct 1822, rev. 4 Nov 1822, for Frankfurt Cäcilienverein, ed. G. Graulich (Stuttgart, 1980)

Kyrie, c, solo vv, double chorus, 12 Nov 1823, rev. Dec 1823, for Frankfurt Cäcilienverein, perf. Frankfurt, 30 Dec 1825, ed. G. Graulich (Stuttgart, 1980)

Jesus, meine Zuversicht, c, solo vv, chorus 5vv, pf, 9 June 1824, ed. G. Graulich (Stuttgart, 1991)

Allein Gott in der Höh', chorale harmonization, 10 Sept 1824, D-B*

Was mein Gott will, chorale harmonization, 29 April 1827, D-B*


Tu es Petrus, A, 5vv, orch, 14 Nov 1827 (Bonn, 1868); R xiv/A9

Ave maris stella, E♭, S, orch, 5 July 1828, ded. A. Milder-Hauptmann, perf. Berlin, 27 May 1829, ed. H Ryschawy (Stuttgart, 1993)

Hora est, g/A, 16vv, org, 6 Dec 1828, perf. Berlin, 4/14 Nov 1829, ed. M. Hutzel (Stuttgart, 1981)


Drei Kirchenmusiken (Bonn, 1832): Aus tiefer Noth, F, T, chorus, org, 19 Oct 1830; Ave Maria, A, solo vv, 8vv, bc, 16 Oct 1830; Mitten wir im Leben sind, c, 8vv, 20 Nov 1830; R xiv/B1

O beata et benedicta (Zum Feste der Dreieinigkeit), 3 S, org, 30 Dec 1830, orig. intended as op.39 no.2 (Stuttgart, 1978)


Three motets, female chorus, org, Dec 1830, rev. 1837/8 (Bonn, 1838): Hear my prayer, O Lord (Veni, Domine), g, 31 Dec 1830, O praise the Lord (Laudate pueri), E♭, 14 Aug 1837, O Lord, thou hast searched me out (Surrexit Pastor), G, 30 Dec 1830; R xiv/B2

Lord, have mercy upon us, chorus, 24 March 1833, ded. T. Attwood, pubd in Album für Gesang 1842 (1841); R xiv/C12


Two sacred choruses: Beati mortui, Periti autem, male chorus, ?1833–4 (1869); R xiv/C7


Hymn (paraphrase of Ps xiii by C.B. Broadley), E♭, A solo, chorus, orch, 5 Jan 1843 (Bonn, 1852); first 3 movts with org acc., 12 Dec 1840, pubd as Drei geistliche Lieder (Bonn, 1841); R xiv/A3; xiv/A8, B5

Herr Gott, dich loben wir (TeD), solo vv, double chorus, 4 trbn, str, org, 16 July 1843, perf. Berlin, 6 Aug 1843, ed. Roe-Min Kok (Stuttgart, 1996)

Chorale harmonizations, chorus, wind, Dec 1843: Allein Gott in der Höh, Vom Himmel hoch, 15 Dec 1843, perf. Berlin, Christmas 1843, ed. G. Graulich (Stuttgart, 1985); Wachet auf, perf. Berlin, 1 Jan 1844, PL-Kj*

Hear my prayer (paraphrase of Ps lv by W. Bartholomew), G, hymn, S, chorus, org, 25 Jan 1844, perf. London, 8 Jan 1845, ded. W. Taubert (Berlin, 1845), R xiv/B; orch arr., c 14 Feb 1847, for J. Robinson, perf. Dublin, 21 Dec 1848, ed. (London, 1880)

Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen über dir (Ps xci), double chorus, 15 Aug 1844, perf. Berlin, 2 Sept 1844, ed. (Berlin, 1915), re-used in Elijah, see also Schmidt-Beste, E1997

Cantique pour l'Eglise wallonne de Francfort (Venez, chanter), 4vv, 1846, ed. B. Mohn (Stuttgart, 1997)


Sechs Sprüche, double chorus, Oct 1846 (1849): Frohlocket, ihr Völker, G, 15 Dec 1843, perf. Berlin, 24 Dec 1843, rev. March 1845; Herr Gott, du bist unsre Zuflucht, d, 25 Dec 1843, perf. Berlin, 1 Jan 1844; Erhaben, O Herr, über alles Lob, B♭, 9 Oct 1846; Herr, gedenke nicht unser Übelthaten, d, 14 Feb 1844, perf. Berlin, 1844, rev. March 1845; Lasset uns frohlocken, G, 5 Oct 1846; Um unsrer Sünden, e, 18 Feb 1844, perf. Berlin, 29 March 1844; R xiv/C6

Die deutsche Liturgie, 8vv, 28 Oct 1846: Kyrie, A, ed. in Musica sacra, v (Berlin, 1853), Heilig, Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe, D, 28 Oct 1846, ed. in Musica sacra, vii (Berlin, c1855); R xiv/C 9–11; Ehre sei dem Vater, several responses and amens, ed. J. Silber Ballan (Stuttgart, 1998)


Three Motets, solo vv, chorus, 1847 (1847/8): Nunc dimittis, E♭, 13 June 1847, Jubilate, A, 5 April 1847, Magnificat, B♭, 12 June 1847; R xiv/C5

Secular cantatas

In rührend feierlichen Tönen (wedding cant), S, A, T, B, chorus, pf, 13 June 1820 [1821], D-B*

Grosse Festmusik zum Dürerfest (K. Levetzow), solo vv, chorus, orch, 1828, perf. Berlin, 18 April 1828, ed. in Hatteberg, I(ii)1995, 361

Begrüssung (‘Humboldt’ Cantata) (festival music, L. Rellstab), solo male vv, male chorus, wind (with timp, vc and db), 12 Sept 1828, perf. Berlin, 18 Sept 1828, D-B*


Die erste Walpurgisnacht (J.W. von Goethe), chorus, orch, 13 Feb 1832, perf. Berlin, 10 Jan 1833, rev. Dec 1842 – 15 July 1843, perf. Leipzig, 2 Feb 1843 (1844); R xv/5

Gott segne Sachsenland (S.A. Mahlmann), male vv, wind, 2 June 1843, perf. Dresden, 7 June 1843, PL-Kj*


An die Künstler (song [for the Deutsch-Vlaemisches Sängerfest], F. von Schiller), male vv, brass, 19 April 1846, perf. Cologne, June 1846 (Bonn, 1846); R xv/6

Choral songs

Einst ins Schlaraffenland zogen, 4 male vv, 1820, D-B*

Lieb und Hoffnung, male vv, 1820, D-B*

Jägerlied (Kein bess're Lust in dieser Zeit) (L. Uhland), 4 male vv, 20 April 1822, D-B*

Lob des Weines (Seht, Freunde, die Gläser), solo male vv, male chorus, 1822, D-B*

Wenn der Abendwind durch die Wipfel zieht, 2S, T, 23 Aug 1828 (Erasmus Haus auction catalogue, 1997)

Lasset heut am edlen Ort (Goethe), 4 male vv, 11 Dec 1828, facs. in Festlied zu Zelters siebzigsten Geburtstag (1928)

Musikantenprügelei (Seht doch diese Fiedlerbänden) (R. Reinick), 4 male vv, 23 April 1833, for Dürer-Fest, perf. Düsseldorf, 1 May 1833, pubd as suppl. to Die Musik, viii/2 (1908–9)

Worauf kommt es überall an, 4 male vv, 23 Feb 1837, D-B*

Festgesang (Möge das Siegeszeichen), mixed vv, pf, 30 March 1838, perf. Schwaz, 19 April 1838, ed. C. Hellmundt (Wiesbaden, 1996)


Sechs Lieder (Im Freien zu singen), mixed vv (1838); 2–4 as Drei Volkslieder, R xvi/1

1 Im Walde (A. von Platen), Jan 1838

2 Entflieh’ mit mir (H. Heine), 22 Jan 1834

3 Es fiel ein Reif (Heine), 22 Jan 1834

4 Auf ihrem Grab (Heine), 22 Jan 1834

5 Mailied (L. Hölty), 22 May 1835

6 Auf dem See (Goethe), 22 May 1835


Sechs Lieder (Im Freien zu singen), mixed vv (1840); 1–3 as Der erste Frühlingstag, R xvi/2

1 Frühlingsahnung (Uhland), 5 July 1839

2 Die Primel (N. Lenau), 1839

3 Frühlingsfeier (Uhland), 28 Dec 1839

4 Lerchengesang, canon, 15 June 1839

5 Morgengebet (J. Eichendorff), 18 Nov 1839

6 Herbstlied (Lenau), 26 Dec 1839

Ersatz für Unbestand (F. Rückert), 4 male vv, 22 Nov 1839, pubd in Deutscher Musenalmanach (1839), Dec; R xvii/5

Festgesang [for the Gutenberg Festival] (A.E. Prölss), male vv, double brass, timp, perf. Leipzig, 25 June 1840 (1840); R xv [no.2, adapted by W.H. Cummings as Hark! the herald angels sing]


Sechs Lieder, male vv (1840); R xvii/1

1 Türkisches Schenkenlied (Goethe), ?1838

2 Der Jäger Abschied (Eichendorff), 4 hn, b trbn acc., 6 Jan 1840

3 Sommerlied (Goethe), ?1839–40

4 Wasserfahrt (Heine), ?1839–40

5 Liebe und Wein, 7 Dec 1839

6 Wanderlied (Eichendorff), 6 Jan 1840

Nachtgesang, 4 male vv, 15 Jan 1842 (1856); R xvii/6

Die Stiftungsfeier, 4 male vv, 15 Jan 1842 (1859); R xvii/7 [for the Gesellschaft der Freunde, Berlin]


Sechs Lieder (Im Freien zu singen), mixed vv (1843); R xvi/3

1 Im Grünen (H. von Chézy), 23 Nov 1837

2 Frühzeitiger Frühling (Goethe), 17 June 1843

3 Abschied vom Wald (Eichendorff), 3 March 1843

4 Die Nachtigall (Goethe), canon, 19 June 1843

5 Ruhethal (Uhland), 3 March 1843

6 Jagdlied (Eichendorff), 5 March 1843


Trauer-Gesang [for T. Zimmermann] (F. Aulenbach), mixed vv, 8 July 1845 (1869); R xiv/C8

Die Frauen und die Sänger (Schiller), mixed vv, 30 Oct 1845, perf. Leipzig, 11 Nov 1845; 2nd version, 6vv, 25 Jan 1846, PL-Kj*, facs. in Köhler, E1959


Vier Lieder, male vv (1849); R xvii/2

1 Der frohe Wandersmann (Eichendorff), 8 Feb 1844

2 Abendständchen (Eichendorff), 14 Nov 1839

3 Trinklied (Goethe), ? c Feb 1837

4 Abschiedstafel (Eichendorff), ? 12 Feb 1838, US-Cn* (copy)


Vier Lieder, male vv (1850); R xvii/3

1 Das Lied vom braven Mann (Heine), ? c Feb 1837

2 Rheinweinlied (G. Herwegh), 9 Feb 1844

3 Lied für die Deutschen in Lyon (F. Stoltze), 8 Oct 1846

4 Comitat (A.H. Hoffmann von Fallersleben), 14 Sept 1847


Sechs Lieder, mixed vv (1851); R xvi/4

1 Neujahrslied (J.P. Hebel), 8 Aug 1844

2 Der Glückliche (Eichendorff), 20 June 1843

3 Hirtenlied (Uhland), 14 June 1839 [arr. of solo song op.57/2]

4 Die Waldvögelein (Schütz), 19 June 1843

5 Deutschland (E. Geibel), ?1847

6 Der wandernde Musikant (Eichendorff), 10 March 1840


Vier Lieder, mixed vv (1852); R xvi/5

1 Andenken, 8 Aug 1844

2 Lob des Frühlings (Uhland), 20 June 1843

3 Frühlingslied

4 Im Wald, 14 June 1839


Vier Lieder, male vv (1873); R xvii/4

1 Jagdlied (W. Scott), 27 Nov 1837

2 Morgengruss des thüringischen Sängerbundes, 20 Feb 1847, perf. Eisenach, ? Aug 1847

3 Im Süden, 24 Nov 1837

4 Zigeunerlied (Goethe)

Lob der Trunkenheit (Trunken müssen wir alle sein), 4 male vv, D-B*

In Frankfurt auf der Zeile, da steht ein junger Mann, 4 male vv, F*

Concert arias

Che vuoi mio cor?, Mez, str, ?1823, D-B*

Ch'io t'abbandono (P. Metastasio: Achille in Sciro), Bar, pf, 5 Sept 1825, US-NYpm*

Tutto è silenzio, 1v, orch, 23 Feb 1829, ded. A. Milder, rehearsed Berlin, 14 April 1829, Wc* (inc.)


Infelice (Metastasio), S, orch, 3 April 1834, perf. London, 19 May 1834, rev. 15 Jan 1843, perf. Leipzig, 9 Feb 1843 (1851); R xv/11

On Lena's Gloomy Heath, g/G (Ossian: Fingal), 1v, orch, c Sept 1846, perf. London, 15 March 1847, GB-Ob*, Lbl (copies)

O lasst mich einen Augenblick (Goethe), 1v, orch, inc., ?1847, PL-Kj*

Solo songs

Lied zum Geburtstag meines guten Vaters (Ihr Töne schwingt euch) (Mendelssohn), 11 Dec [1819], GB-Ob*, facs. in Wolff, G1906, 13

Pauvre Jeanette (J.P. Claris de Florian), cMarch, 1820, ed. in Todd, I(iii)1983

Ave Maria (W. Scott: The Lady of the Lake), c July 1820, pubd in Leven J1926

Raste Krieger, Krieg ist aus (Scott: The Lady of the Lake), 1820, ed. in Leven J1926

Die Nachtigall (Da ging ich hin), ?1821–2, D-B*

Der Verlassene (Nacht ist um mich her), 24 Sept 1821, ed. in Leven J1926

Von allen deinen zarten Gaben, 18 Sept 1822, ed. in Leven J1926

Wiegenlied (Schlummre sanft), 18 Sept 1822, ed. in Leven J1926

Sanft weh'n im Hauch der Abendluft, 28 Dec 1822, D-B*

Der Wasserfall (Rieselt hernieder) (K. Klingemann), ?1823, inc., ed. in Leven J1926

Faunenklag (Er ist zerbrochen), 8 June 1823, GB-Ob*

Am Seegestad, 26 Sept 1823, Ob*

Durch Fichten, c Sept ?1823, Ob*

Ich denke dein (F. von Matthisson), 1 Oct ?1823, Ob*

Tanzt dem schönen Mai entgegen, ? c1823, Ob*

Sicheln schallen, ? c1823, Ob*

Rausche leise, grünes Dach (A. von Schlippenbach), Dec ?1824, F-Pc*

Mitleidsworte, Trostesgründe, neue Dornen diesem Herzen (F. Robert), 7 June 1825, GB-Ob*


Zwölf Gesänge (nos.1–6 Berlin, 1826; nos.1–12, Berlin 1827); R xviii [no.12], xix [nos.1–12]

1 Minnelied im Mai (L. Hölty)

2 Das Heimweh (F. Robert), 19 July 1824 [by Fanny Mendelssohn]

3 Italien (F. Grillparzer), 24 Aug 1825 [by Fanny Mendelssohn]

4 Erntelied (trad.), 24 Jan 1824

5 Pilgerspruch (P. Flemming)

6 Frühlingslied (Robert), 2 April 1824; arr. S, fl, cl, 2 hn, vc, D-B*

7 Maienlied (J. von der Warte)

8 Hexenlied (Hölty)

9 Abendlied (J.G. Droysen [J.H. Voss])

10 Romanze (Sp., orig. intended for Die Hochzeit des Camacho)

11 Im Grünen (Droysen)

12 Suleika und Hatem (Goethe), 2vv, 28 April 1825 [by FannyMendelssohn]

The Garland (Der Blumenkranz) (T. Moore), 24 May 1829 (London and Brunswick, 1841); R xix

The sun is dancing on the stream (A. Cunningham), air for the emancipation of slaves in Ceylon, June 1829, lost


Zwölf Lieder (Berlin, 1830), nos. 1–6 as der Jüngling, 7–12 as Das Mädchen; R xix

1 Frage (Droysen or Mendelssohn), Pentecost 1827

2 Geständnis (E. Devrient)

3 Wartend (Droysen), Romanze, 3 April 1829

4 Im Frühling (Droysen), 27 Jan 1830

5 Im Herbst (K. Klingemann), ? 22 March 1827

6 Scheidend (Droysen), 13 Jan 1830

7 Sehnsucht (Droysen), 24 June 1828 [by Fanny Mendelssohn]

8 Frühlingsglaube (L. Uhland), 19 Jan 1830

9 Ferne (Droysen), 13 Jan 1830

10 Verlust (Heine), 28 Dec 1827 [by Fanny Mendelssohn]

11 Entsagung (Droysen)

12 Die Nonne (Uhland), May 1822 [by Fanny Mendelssohn]

Four songs, 1 May 1830, D-B*

1 Der Tag (Sanft entschwanden mir)

2 Reiterlied (Immer fort)

3 Abschied (Leb wohl mein Lieb)

4 Der Bettler (Ich danke Gott dir)

Von schlechtem Lebenswandel, ? c 9–19 Oct 1830, lost

Charlotte to Werter [sic] (W.F. Collard), pubd in Apollo's Gift, or the Musical Souvenir 1831 (London, 1830); Ger. version, different text, Seemanns Scheidelied (A.H. Hoffmann von Fallersleben) (Berlin, 1850), R xix

Reiselied (Ich reit' ins finstre Land hinein) (Uhland), 11 Aug 1831, inc. US-NYpm*

Weihnachtslied (Auf schicke dich recht feierlich), 2 versions, 19–20 Dec 1832, pubd in H. Gerber: Albert Baur (Freiburg, 1971), 162–3


Sechs Gesänge (1833); R xix

1 Frühlingslied (U. von Lichtenstein), 21 Feb 1830

2 Das erste Veilchen (E. Ebert), 20 June 1832

3 Winterlied (Swed.)

4 Neue Liebe (Heine)

5 Gruss (Heine)

6 Reiselied (Ebert), 16 Oct 1830

Warum sind denn die Rosen so blass? (Heine), ? May 1834, inc., D-B*

Andres Mailied (Ich weiss mir'n Mädchen), 14 May 1834, D-B*

Zwei Gesänge (Eichendorff) (Elberfeld, 1850/51): Das Waldschloss, 17 Aug 1835, Pagenlied, Christmas 1832, pubd in suppl. to NZM, viii (1838); R xix

Two Romances (Byron) pubd in Album musical (1836): There be none of beauty's daughters, 3 Aug 1833, Sun of the Sleepless, 31 Dec 1834; R xix


Sechs Gesänge, 23 Jan 1837 (1837); R xix

1 Minnelied (Old Ger.), 11 May 1834

2 Auf Flügeln des Gesanges (Heine), 1 Oct 1835

3 Frühlingslied (K. Klingemann), c May 1832

4 Suleika (M. von Willemer, attrib. Goethe)

5 Sonntagslied (K. Klingemann), 28 Dec 1834

6 Reiselied (Heine)

Was will die einsame Thräne? (Heine), before 17 April 1837, D-B (copy)

Lied der Freundin (Zarter Blumen leicht Gewinde) (Willemer, attrib. Goethe), 13 July 1837, facs. (Düsseldorf, 1960)

Im Kahn (Heine), 12 Dec 1837, D-B*, facs. in Moscheles, D1888

So schlaf in Ruh (Hoffmann von Fallersleben), 22 March 1838, GB-Ob* (copy)

O könnt ich zu dir fliegen, 15 Aug 1838, D-B*


Sechs Lieder (1839); R xix

1 Minnelied (L. Tieck)

2 Morgengruss (Heine)

3 Frühlingslied (N. Lenau), 17 April 1839

4 Volkslied (E. von Feuchtersleben), 18 April 1839

5 Der Blumenstrauss (K. Klingemann), 5 May 1832

6 Bei der Wiege (K. Klingemann), June 1833, for Felix Moscheles

Auf Wiedersehen, 22 Jan 1840, US-NYpm*

Warnung vor dem Rhein (C. Simrock), c25 Feb 1840 (Bonn, 1849); R xix

Lieben und Schweigen (Ich flocht ein Kränzlein schöner Lieder) (K. Tischendorf), 1840–41, pubd in Die musikalische Welt (Brunswick, 1872)


Sechs Lieder (1843); R xix

1 Altdeutsches Lied (H. Schreiber), 26 July 1839

2 Hirtenlied (Uhland), 20 April 1839; see also choral songs [op.88/3]

3 Suleika (Willemer, attrib. Goethe), ?1839

4 O Jugend (Rhenish folksong), 9 Jan 1841

5 Venetianisches Gondellied (after Moore), 17 Oct 1842

6 Wanderlied (Eichendorff), 29 April 1841

Und über dich wohl stimmt, 9 July 1844, ded. G.A. Macfarren


Sechs Lieder (1847); R xix

1 Tröstung (Hoffmann von Fallersleben), 22 Dec 1845

2 Frühlingslied (K. Klingemann), 3 April 1845

3 An die Entfernte (Lenau), 22 Sept 1847

4 Schilflied (Lenau), 3 Nov 1842

5 Auf der Wanderschaft (Lenau), 27 July 1847

6 Nachtlied (Eichendorff), 1 Oct 1847

Zwei Gesänge (1849): Todeslied der Bojaren, 1831 (K. Immermann) (Düsseldorf, 1832), Im Frühling (Ich hör' ein Vöglein) (A. Böttger), 20 April 1841 (1846); R xix


Drei Gesänge, low v (1850); R xix

1 Da lieg' ich unter den Bäumen, 5 Dec 1831

2 Herbstlied (K. Klingemann), 26 Feb 1839

3 Jagdlied (from A. von Arnim and C. Brentano: DesKnaben Wunderhorn), 25 May 1834


Six Songs (London, 1850); R xix

1 Es lauschte das Laub (K. Klingemann), 1826

2 Morgenlied

3 Die Liebende schreibt (Goethe), 10 Aug 1831

4 Allnächtlich im Traume (Heine)

5 Der Mond (E. Geibel)

6 Altdeutsches Frühlingslied (F. Spee), 7 Oct 1847


Sechs Gesänge (1852); R xix

1 Erster Verlust (Goethe), 9 Aug 1841

2 Die Sterne schau'n (A. von Schlippenbach)

3 Lieblingsplätzchen (F. Robert), ? May 1830

4 Das Schifflein (Uhland), 6 June 1841

5 Wenn sich zwei Herzen scheiden (Geibel), 22 Dec 1845

6 Es weiss und rät es doch keiner (Eichendorff), Sept 1842

Des Mädchens Klage (Schiller) (London, 1866); R xix


Zwei geistliche Lieder (Bonn, 1868): Doch der Herr, er leitet die Irrenden recht, Der du die Menschen lässest sterben, c1835–6 [intended for St Paul]; R xiv/B4

Vier Lieder, ed. C. Reinecke (Munich, 1882): An Marie (Weiter, rastlos, atemlos vorüber), Erwartung (Bist auf ewig du gegangen), An ihrem Grabe (Vier trübe Monden sind entfloh'n), Warum ich weine (Weinend seh' ich in die Nacht)

Gretchen (Meine Ruh ist hin) (Goethe), D-LEm (inc.)

Es rauscht der Wald, D-B*

Ja, war's nicht aber Frühlingszeit (Hoffmann von Fallersleben), GB-Ob* (copy), attrib. Mendelssohn

Abschied (Es weh'n die Wolken über Meer)

Vocal duets

all with piano accompaniment

Drei Volkslieder (Berlin, 1836–8); R xviii/3

1 Wie kann ich froh und lustig sein? (P. Kaufmann), in Album: Neue Original Compositionen für Gesang und Pianoforte (Berlin, 1836)

2 Abendlied (Heine), 19 Jan 1840, in II. album avec paroles françaises, italiennes et allemandes (Berlin, 1837)

3 Wasserfahrt (Heine), in Album no.3: Neueste Original-Compositionen (Berlin, 1838)


Sechs zweistimmige Lieder (1844); R xviii/1

1 Ich wollt' meine Lieb' (Heine), 3 Dec 1836

2 Abschiedslied der Zugvögel (Hoffmann von Fallersleben), 20 May 1844

3 Gruss (Eichendorff), March 1844

4 Herbstlied (K. Klingemann), c June–July 1844; see also piano [Lied, 16 Oct 1836]

5 Volkslied (R. Burns), 17 Oct 1842

6 Maiglöckchen und die Blümelein (Hoffmann von Fallersleben), 23 Jan 1844


Drei zweistimmige Lieder (1848/9); R xviii/2

1 Sonntagsmorgen (Uhland), 3 Dec 1836

2 Das Aehrenfeld (Hoffmann von Fallersleben), 18 Jan 1847

3 Lied aus ‘Ruy Blas’ (Hugo), 3 May 1839, pubd in A. Schmidt, ed.: Orpheus, musikalisches Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1840 (Vienna, 1839)


source unknown or in private collection unless otherwise stated

Canon on motif from Mozart's ‘Jupiter’ Symphony k551, 4 Nov [1821] [in letter to family; for E. Rietz], US-NYp*

Three-part canon, 13 May 1825, ded. S. Neukomm

Gesegnete Mahlzeit, 4vv, c1825

Rätselkanon, 3vv, Sept 1826, D-B*

Kurzgefasste Übersicht des canonischen Rechts, 3 vn, 6 Feb 1827, ded. H. Romberg

Three-part canon, 27 Sept 1827, ded. F. Hiller, facs. in Jb des Kölnischen Geschichtsvereins, xli (1967), 100

Three-part canon, 9 April 1829, ded. Henriette Sontag

Three-part canon, 9 March 1830, ded. W. von Boguslawski, pubd in Deutsche Rundschau, clx (1909)

Three-part canon, 19 May 1830, ded. H. Dorn, Zsch* [same as canon of 27 Sept 1827]

Two-part canon, 2 va, 26 June 1831, in letter to G. Smart, US-NYpm*

Three-part canon, 22 March 1832

Four-part canon, b, 16 April 1832, ded. F. Chopin, facs. in L. Binental: Chopin: Dokumente und Erinnerungen aus seiner Heimstadt (Leipzig, 1932), pl.xxxix [same as canon of 27 Sept 1827]

Wohl ihm, 4vv, 30 May 1832, ded. I. Moscheles

Sohn Schmidt Bendemann, 4vv, c1833–5, IL-J*

Denn ach sie sind Philisten, 20 Feb 1833, for F. Hauser, D-B*

Was soll ich schreiben, 3vv, 11 April 1833, for G. Nauenberg, F-Pc*

Der weise Diogenes (R. Reinick), 4 male vv, 11 Feb 1833 [recte 1834], facs. suppl. to Die Musik, viii/2 (1908–9)

Three-part canon, b, 16 Dec 1835, ded. C. Künzel

Und ob du mich züchtigst, 5vv, 24 Dec 1835, for Fanny Hensel, D-B*

Three-part canon, 16 January 1836, ?for H. von Bülow [same as canon of 16 Dec 1835]

Three-part canon, 2 Feb 1836, ded. C. Künzel

Three-part canon, 19 April 1836, HVkm*

Three-part canon, c May 1836

Two-part canon, 28 Feb 1837, for O. Böhme, Dl* [uses theme from Beethoven's Pf Conc. no.3]

Three-part canon, b, and two-part canon, C, 24 July 1837, D-B*

Four-part canon, 7 Sept 1837, for Eliza Wesley, GB-Lbl*

Three-part canon, 17 Sept 1837, ded. Charles Woolloton, D-B*

Two-part canon, b, 24 Sept 1837, GB-Ob*, D-B*

Two-part canon, c, pf, Jan 1838, D-B*

Canon, c, 2 Jan 1838, ded. A. Henselt, US-NYpm*

Two-part canon, 10 Feb 1839, F-Pc*

Two-part canon, 8 March 1839, ded. F. Whistling, US-NYp*

Two-part canon, 12 April 1839, ded. Kietz [painter], facs. in V.A. Heck, auction catalogue (Vienna, 1925)

Two-part canon, 9 July [1839]

Und wer nicht richtet sondern fleissig ist, 3vv, 7 Sept 1839, ded. B. Müller, D-B* [uses canon of 27 Sept 1827]

Three-part canon, b, 8 Sept 1839, D-B* [uses canon of 27 Sept 1827]

Four-part canon, 4 Dec 1839, ded. A. Hesse

Canon, 11 Dec 1839, ded. A. Heyse, US-Wc*

Two-part canon, 14 Feb 1840, D-B* [solution by F. Möhring; uses canon of 24 Sept 1837]

Two-part canon, with vc/db, 26 May 1840, DÜk*

Two-part canon, 25 Sept 1840

Two-part canon, 11 Nov 1840, ded. H.C. Andersen, DK-Kk*

Two-part canon, b, 6 Jan 1841, GB-LEbc* [uses canon of 24 Sept 1837]

Two-part canon, 25 Jan 1841, ded. Arthur Lutze [uses canon of 24 Sept 1837]

Canon, E♭, 28 March 1841

Two-part canon, b, 7 April 1841, ded. R. Lepsius or F. Bunsen, D-B*, ed. in MT, lxxxix (1948), 361

Two-part canon, 22 April 1841, ded. V. Carus, PL-Kj*

Two-part canon, b, 27 July 1841, D-LEsm* [uses canon of 24 Sept 1837]

Pater peccavi, 3vv, 7 Aug 1841, ded. F. Kistner, US-Wc*

Two-part canon, 23 Dec 1841, ded. Leon Herz, D-B* (copy) [uses canon of 24 Sept 1837]

Three-part canon, b, 14 Jan 1842 [uses canon of 16 Dec 1835]

Two-part canon, f♯, 7 June 1842, GB-Ob*

Three-part canon, b, 11 July 1842, ded. Felix Moscheles [uses canon of 16 Dec 1835]; facs. in Moscheles, D1888, 225

Canon, 7 July 1843

Etude, a, vn, or canon, 2 vn, 11 March 1844, ded. J. Joachim, Tokyo, Nippon Kindai Ongakukan*, facs. in O.E. Deutsch, ed.: St Cecilia's Album (Cambridge, 1944)

Four-part canon, ded. S. Horsley, 22 May 1844, GB-Ob*

Two-part canon, 4 July 1844, Leipzig, Internationale Mendelssohn Stiftung* [uses canon of 24 Sept 1837]

Three-part canon, 8 July 1844, facs. in G. Kinsky, ed.: Musikhistorisches Museum von Wilhelm Heyer in Köln: Katalog (Leipzig, 1910), i, 339 [uses canon of 27 Sept 1827]

Scherzo osia canone, 4vv, 8 July 1844, ?for I. Moscheles

Two-part canon, 8 July 1844, for Alfredo Piatti [uses canon of 24 Sept 1837]

Canon, E, 9 July 1844, US-AUS*

Canon, f♯, 2 Nov 1844, ded. L. Lallemant, facs. in Rothe and Szeskus, D1972, 227–8 [uses canon of 7 June 1842]

Two-part canon, b, 5 Sept 1845, ded. A. Taux, Salzburg, Salzburger Liedertafel* [uses canon of 24 Sept 1837]

Two-part canon, b, 10 Jan 1846, GB-Lbl* [uses canon of 24 Sept 1837]

Canon, 5 Feb 1846, US-STu* [uses canon of 24 Sept 1837]

Rätselkanon, b, 19 Feb 1846, Wc [uses canon of 24 Sept 1837]

Canon, 16 April 1846, for C. Kuhlau, Leipzig, Gewandhaus* [based on canon of Jan 1838]

Canone in 8va, 2vv, 18 April 1846, facs. in J. and M. Mirsey, eds.: Maria Szymanowska, 1789–1831: Album (Kraków, 1953) [uses canon of 24 July 1837]

Three-part canon, 20 April 1846, I-Ms* [uses canon of 16 Dec 1835]

Two-part canon, 29 April 1846, ded. Marie Becker

Two-part canon, 30 June 1846, F-Pc* [uses canon of 22 April 1841]

Canone doppio, 4vv, 29 July 1846, ded. J. Warburg

Two-part canon, 26 Aug 1846, facs. in The Autographic Mirror (London, 1864), ii, 179 [uses canon of 24 Sept 1837]

Two-part canon, 2 Sept 1846, ded. A. de Chene de Vere, US-Wc*

Gott fürchten ist die Weisheit, 4vv, 24 Jan 1847, ded. Paul Mendelssohn, D-B*

Canon, f♯, 6 May 1847, GB-Lbl* [uses canon of 7 June 1842]

Mit Vergnügen werd' ich kommen, 4vv, for H.C. Schleinitz

Three-part canon, b, and two-part canon, a [uses canon of 3 Nov 1844], Ob*

Two-part canon, ded. E.L. Heim

Three-part canon, c, D-B* [subject from opening of Beethoven's Piano Concerto no.3]

Canone doppio, 4vv, D-B*

Six-part canon, F

See also choral songs [op.48 no.4, op.59 no.4]

Composition exercises

Workbook with exercises in figured bass, chorale, invertible counterpoint, canon and fugue a 2, a 3, c1819–21, ed. in Todd, I(iv)1983

see also works composed c1820 in chamber and piano solo

Editions, transcriptions and arrangements

J.S. Bach

44 kleine Choralvorspiele für die Orgel (Leipzig and London, 1845)

Organ Compositions on Chorales, i–iv (London and Leipzig, 1845–6)

15 grosse Choral-Vorspiele für die Orgel (Leipzig and London, 1846)

6 Variations on the Chorale ‘Christ, der du bist der helle Tag – Christ who art the brightest day’ (Leipzig and London, 1846)

11 Variations on the Chorale ‘Sey gegrüsset Jesu gütig – All hail good Jesus’ (Leipzig and London, 1846)

Preludio from Partita in E for vn solo, bwv1006, pf acc., 11 Nov 1846, for F. David, perf. Leipzig, 8 Feb 1840

Chaconne, vn, pf (London and Hamburg, 1847; Fr. edn., Paris and elsewhere, 1848) [pf acc. for the Chaconne in D minor for vn solo], perf. Leipzig, 8 Feb 1840

Suite, D, orch, ed. F. David (1866) [Mendelssohn's performing edn for the Gewandhaus concerts]

Cantata no.106, ‘Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit’, parts for cl, bn, US-Wc*

G.F. Handel

‘Dettingen’ Te Deum, ed. (1869)

Acis and Galatea, 3 Jan 1829, GB-Ob*

Organ parts for Solomon (1834), D-B*, Joshua (1835), 2 choruses from Messiah, D-B*

Zadok the Priest, wind pts, perf. Leipzig, 1 Jan 1836, GB-Ob*; recit, perf. Birmingham, 28 Aug 1846

Israel in Egypt, wind, timp, 1833, org, 1836 (London, 1846) [Handel Society edn]

Other arrangements
W.A. Mozart

Le nozze di Figaro, ov. arr. pf duet, 14 Nov 1817 [?]

J. Haydn

Die Jahreszeiten, ov. arr. pf duet, 1820, D-B*

W.A. Mozart

Symphony no.41, 1st movt arr. pf duet, c Nov 1821, inc., D-B*

I. Moscheles

Septet op.88, arr. pf duet, Aug 1833, D-B*

L. van Beethoven

Marcia funebre [from Pf Sonata op.26], orchd, c1833–4, F-Pc*

L. Cherubini

Die Wasserträger, ov. arr. pf duet, 9 Jan 1837, GB-Ob*

Sechs schottische National-Lieder, Ger. and orig. Eng. texts (1839), ed. R. Elvers (1977)

D. Cimarosa

Terzet from Il matrimonio segreto, arr. for Leipzig, Gewandhaus concert, 25 Feb 1847

J. Lang

Trinklied vor der Schlacht, arr. male chorus, ww, brass

H. Marschner

Hans Heiling, ov. arr. pf duet

See also piano solo [Cadenza, 1832, 1840]




    A Catalogues of works. B Collections and exhibitions. C Iconographies. D Letters. E Facsimile reprints of documents. F Memoirs, recollections. G Life and works. H Biographical studies. I Works (i) Instrumental (ii) Vocal (iii) Stage (iv) Miscellaneous topics. J Other studies.

A: Catalogues of works
  • ‘Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’, AMZ, 39 (1837), 845–51
  • Vollständiges Verzeichnis im Druck erschienener Compositionen von … F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Leipzig, 1841)
  • A.J. Becher: ‘Vollständiges Verzeichnis der Compositionen von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Orpheus-Almanach, 3 (Vienna, 1842), pp.iii–viii
  • Thematisches Verzeichnis im Druck erschienenen Compositionen von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Leipzig, 1846; new edn, 1853, 3/1882/R)
  • ‘Systematisches Verzeichnis der in Deutschland im Druck erschienenen Compositionen von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Musikalisches Wochenblatt, 1 (1870), suppl.
B: Collections and exhibitions
  • G. Kinsky: Erstlingsdrucke der deutschen Tonmeister der Klassik und Romantik (Vienna, 1934), 16 [on opp.1–3]
  • Y. Rokseth: ‘Manuscrits de Mendelssohn à la Bibliothèque du Conservatoire’, RdM, 15 (1934), 103–6
  • E. Walker: ‘An Oxford Collection of Mendelssohniana’, ML, 19 (1938), 426–8
  • M.F. Schneider: ‘Eine Mendelssohn-Sammlung in Basel’, Der Amerbach Bote: Almanach (Basle, 1947), 200
  • E. Werner: ‘Mendelssohn Sources’, Notes, 12 (1954–5), 201–4
  • Mendelssohn-Festwoche aus Anlass der 150. Wiederkehr des Geburtstages am 3. Februar 1959 (Leipzig, 1959)
  • R. Elvers: ‘Verzeichnis der von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy herausgegebenen Werke Johann Sebastian Bachs’, Gestalt und Glaube: Festschrift für … Oskar Söhngen (Witten and Berlin, 1960), 145–9
  • M.F. Schneider: Mendelssohn-Archiv der Staatsbibliothek Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin, 1965)
  • M.F. Schneider: Die Wach'sche Mendelssohn-Sammlung auf dem Ried in Wilderswil bei Interlaken (Berlin, 1966)
  • E.F. Flindell: ‘Ursprung und Geschichte der Sammlung Wittgenstein im 19. Jahrhundert’, Mf, 22 (1969), 298–314, esp. 300–04 [with list of Mendelssohn's letters]
  • M. Crum, ed.: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Oxford, 1972)
  • R. Elvers: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Dokumente seines Lebens: Ausstellung zum 125. Todestag, Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Ausstellungskataloge, 3 (Berlin, 1972)
  • P. Krause: Autographen, Erstausgaben und Frühdrucke der Werke von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Leipziger Bibliotheken und Archiven (Leipzig, 1972)
  • C. Kröll, ed.: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy zum 125. Todestag: eine Ausstellung des Goethe-Museums Düsseldorf (Dusseldorf, 1972)
  • B. Richter: ‘Das “Mendelssohn-Zimmer” in Leipzig’, Musik und Gesellschaft, 22 (1972), 646–52
  • M. Crum and P. Ward Jones, eds.: Catalogue of the Mendelssohn Papers in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Tutzing, 1980–89)
  • K. Schultz, ed.: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: ‘Der schöne Zwischenfall in der deutschen Musik’ (Vienna, 1981)
  • R. Elvers and H. Günter Klein, eds.: Die Mendelssohns in Berlin: eine Familie und ihre Stadt (Berlin, 1983)
  • P. Zappalà: ‘Autografi mendelssohniani a Milano’, Musica e cultura, 2 (1988), 91–8
  • D. Herlin, ed.: Collection musicale François Lang (Paris, 1993), 107–20
  • K. Breitner, ed.: Katalog der Sammlung Anthony van Hoboken in der Musiksammlung der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, 10 (Tutzing, 1994), 55–179
  • H.-G. Klein, ed.: Das verborgene Band: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy und seine Schwester Fanny Hensel, Staatsbibliothek Preussicher Kulturbesitz, Ausstellungskatalog (Wiesbaden, 1997)
  • P. Ward Jones, ed.: Mendelssohn: an Exhibition to Celebrate the Life of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847) (Oxford, 1997)
C: Iconographies
  • ‘A Long-Lost Portrait of Mendelssohn’, MT, 46 (1905), 165–6 [portrait by H. Vernet]
  • M.F. Schneider: Felix Mendelssohn im Bildnis (Basle, 1953)
  • M.F. Schneider: Ein unbekanntes Mendelssohn-Bildnis von Johann Peter Lyser (Basle, 1958)
  • M. Schuncke: Das Mendelssohn-Bildnis der Musikerfamilie Schuncke (Hamburg, 1996)
D: Letters
  • ‘Briefe Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdys an Herrn Professor Ferdinand Schubert in Wien’, Wiener allgemeine Musik-Zeitung, 8 (1848), 13–14
  • P. Mendelssohn Bartholdy, ed.: F. Mendelssohn: Reisebriefe aus den Jahren 1830 bis 1832 (Leipzig, 1861, 8/1869; enlarged 1947 by P. Hübner; Eng. trans., 1862, as Letters from Italy and Switzerland, 3/1865/R, 10/1891) [vol.i of Briefe aus den Jahren 1830 bis 1847, compiled J. Rietz (Leipzig, 1861–3, 8/1915)]
  • Pis′ma Mendel′sona-Bartol′di [Mendelssohn's letters] (St Petersburg, 1863)
  • P. and C. Mendelssohn Bartholdy, eds. F. Mendelssohn: Briefe aus den Jahren 1833 bis 1847 (Leipzig, 1863; Eng. trans., 1863, 4/1864/R, new edn, 1885) [vol.ii of Briefe aus den Jahren 1830 bis 1847]
  • E. Neukomm: ‘Huit lettres inédites de Mendelssohn’, Art musical (13, 20 Dec 1866) [letters to F. Schneider]
  • L. Nohl, ed.: Musiker-Briefe (Leipzig, 1867; Eng. trans., 1867), 297–346 [30 letters of Mendelssohn]
  • F. Mendelssohn: Acht Briefe (Leipzig, 1871; Eng. trans. in Macmillan Magazine, London, 1871, June) [letters to Henriette Voigt]
  • F. Hiller: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Briefe und Erinnerungen (Cologne, 1874, 2/1878; Eng. trans., rev. 1874/R) [see also R. Sietz: Aus Ferdinand Hillers Briefwechsel (Cologne, 1958), 31ff]
  • E. Hanslick, ed.: ‘Briefe von Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy an Aloys Fuchs’, Deutsche Rundschau, 57 (1888), 65–85
  • F. Moscheles, ed.: Briefe von Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy an Ignaz und Charlotte Moscheles (Leipzig, 1888/R; Eng. trans., 1888/R)
  • J. Schubring, ed.: Briefwechsel zwischen Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy und Julius Schubring (Leipzig, 1892/R)
  • E. Hanslick: ‘Briefe von F. Mendelssohn’, Die moderne Oper, ix: Aus neuer und neuester Zeit (Berlin, 1900/R), 281–94 [descriptions of letters to F. Hauser]
  • E. Schirmer, ed.: ‘Briefe Felix Mendelssohns an Johann Wilhelm Schirmer’, Die Musik, 2/1 (1902–3), 83–91, 193 only
  • H.B. and C.L.E. Cox: Leaves from the Journals of Sir George Smart (London, 1907/R) [incl. letters from Mendelssohn]
  • J.R. Sterndale Bennett: The Life of William Sterndale Bennett (Cambridge, 1907) [incl. correspondence with Mendelssohn]
  • E. Wolff, ed.: Meister-Briefe: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Berlin, 1907)
  • E. Wolff: ‘Sechs unveröffentlichte Briefe Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdys an Wilhelm Taubert’, Die Musik, 8/2 (1908–9), 165–70
  • K. Klingemann [jr], ed.: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdys Briefwechsel mit Legationsrat Karl Klingemann in London (Essen, 1909)
  • M. Unger: Von Mendelssohn-Bartholdys Beziehungen zu England: fünf englische Briefe des Meisters (Langensalza, 1909)
  • E. Wolff: ‘Briefe von Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy an seine rheinischen Freunde’, Rheinische Musik- und Theater-Zeitung, 10 (1909), 86–8, 104–6, 121–2, 136–7, 149–51, 163–5, 182–3
  • L. Dahlgren, ed.: Bref till Adolf Fredrik Lindblad från Mendelssohn, … och andra (Stockholm, 1913)
  • H. Thompson: ‘Some Mendelssohn Letters’, MT, 64 (1923), 461–4, 605–8 [letters to G. Macfarren]
  • J. Tiersot, ed.: Lettres de musiciens écrites en français du XVe au XIXe siècle (de 1831 à 1885) (Paris, 1924)
  • R. Hübner: Johann Gustav Droysen: Briefwechsel, 1 (Berlin, 1929) [see also Wehmer (1959) below]
  • R.B. Gotch, ed.: Mendelssohn and his Friends in Kensington: Letters from Fanny and Sophy Horsley Written 1833–36 (London, 1934)
  • G. Seldon-Goth, ed. and trans.: Felix Mendelssohn: Letters (New York, 1945/R)
  • P. Sutermeister: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Lebensbild mit Vorgeschichte: Reisebriefe von 1830–31 (Zürich, 1949)
  • O.E. Deutsch: ‘The Discovery of Schubert's Great C-major Symphony: a Story in Fifteen Letters’, MQ, 38 (1952), 528–32
  • H. Erdmann and H. Rentzow: ‘Mendelssohns Oratorien-Praxis: ein bisher unbekannter Brief des Meisters vom Jahre 1841’, Musica, 6 (1952), 352–5 [letter to Julius Stock]
  • W. Reich: ‘Mendelssohn sucht einen Operntext: fünf unbekannte Briefe des Komponisten’, Musica, 13 (1959), 366–70 [letters to C. Birch-Pfeiffer]
  • C. Wehmer, ed.: Ein tief gegründet Herz: der Briefwechsel Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdys mit Johann Gustav Droysen (Heidelberg, 1959)
  • E. Werner: ‘The Family Letters of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 65 (1960), 5–20
  • D. Schmidt: ‘Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, ein Helfer der Abgebrannten von 1842’, Hamburgische Geschichts- und Heimatblätter, 8 (1967), 30
  • Briefe von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, 1833–1847 (Leipzig, 1968) [facs. of 10 letters from D-LEsm]
  • R. Elvers, ed.: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Briefe an deutsche Verleger (Berlin, 1968)
  • H.J. Rothe and R. Szeskus, eds.: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Briefe aus Leipziger Archiven (Leipzig, 1972)
  • F. Gilbert, ed.: Bankiers, Künstler und Gelehrte: unveröffentlichte Briefe der Familie Mendelssohn aus dem 19. Jahrhundert (Tübingen, 1975)
  • R. Elvers, ed.: Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Briefe (Frankfurt, 1984; Eng. trans., 1986)
  • G. Feder: ‘Felix Mendelssohns Briefe an Pauline und Julius Hübner’, Festschrift Rudolf Elvers, ed. E. Herttrich and H. Schneider (Tutzing, 1985), 157–97
  • E. Weissweiler, ed.: Fanny Mendelssohn: ein Portrait in Briefen (Frankfurt, 1985)
  • M.J. Citron, ed.: The Letters of Fanny Hensel to Felix Mendelssohn (Stuyvesant, NY, 1987)
  • F. Ferguson: ‘Unknown Correspondence from Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy to his Leipzig Publisher Friedrich Kistner’, Festschrift Wolfgang Rehm, ed. D. Berke and H. Heckmann (Kassel, 1989), 197–206
  • R. Elvers: ‘Bilder-Briefe von und an Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Festschrift Hans-Peter Schmitz zum 75. Geburtstag, ed. A. Eichhorn (Kassel, 1992), 81–4
  • R. Federhofer-Königs: ‘Der unveröffentlichte Briefwechsel Alfred Julius Becher (1803–1848) – Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdys (1809–1847)’, SMw, 41 (1992), 7–94
  • I. Zinnow: ‘Hochgeehrter Herr! – Lieber Freund! Unveröffentlichte Briefe an Georg Dietrich Otten’, Brahms-Studien, 9 (1992), 36–47 [letter of 6 April 1843]
  • D. Evans: ‘Llythyrau Mendelssohn: casgliad Aberystwyth’ [Mendelssohn letters: a collection in Aberystwyth], Taliesin, 86 (1994), 90–104
  • N.B. Reich: ‘The Correspondence between Clara Wieck Schumann and Felix and Paul Mendelssohn’, Schumann and his World, ed. R.L. Todd (Princeton, NJ, 1994), 203–32
  • P.W. Jones, ed.: The Honeymoon Diary of Felix and Cécile Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Together with Letters to Their Families from 1837) (Oxford, 1997; Ger. ed., Zürich, 1997)
  • E. Weissweiler, ed.: Fanny und Felix Mendelssohn: ‘Die Musik will gar nicht rutschen ohne Dich’: Briefwechsel 1821 bis 1846 (Berlin, 1997)
  • R. Elvers, ed.: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Briefe, i: (1817 bis 1829) (Leipzig, forthcoming)
  • For further bibliography see J. Warrack and others: The New Grove Early Romantic Masters 2 [Weber, Berlioz, Mendelssohn] (London, 1985), 284–301
E: Facsimile reprints of documents
  • Festlied zu Zelters siebzigstem Geburtstag MDCCCXXVIII, gedichtet von Goethe, vertont von Mendelssohn (Leipzig, 1928) [Lasset heut am edlen Ort]
  • M.F. Schneider: introduction to F. Mendelssohn: Die Hebriden (Basle, 1947) [autograph of 1st version]
  • M.F. Schneider, ed.: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Denkmal in Wort und Bild (Basle, 1947) [autographs of opp.30, 48/4, 88/3 and 100/4]
  • F. Mendelssohn: Reisebilder aus der Schweiz, 1842, ed. M.F. Schneider (Basle, 1954)
  • K.H. Köhler, ed.: Die Frauen und die Sänger nach dem Gedicht ‘Die vier Weltalter’ von Friedrich Schiller für gemischten Chor komponiert (Basle, 1959) [Der Sänger]
  • M.F. Schneider, ed.: Lied einer Freundin: Zarter Blumen leicht Gewinde, ein bisher ungedrucktes Goethe-Lied von Mendelssohn (Düsseldorf, 1960)
  • M.F. Schneider, ed.: Paphlëis, ein Spott-Heldengedicht von Felix Mendelssohn (Basle, 1961)
  • O. Jonas: Introduction to F. Mendelssohn: Jesu, meine Freude (Chicago, 1966)
  • F. Mendelssohn: Aquarellenalbum, ed. M.F. Schneider and C. Hensel (Basle, 1968) [13 watercolour sketches in D-B]
  • R. Elvers, ed.: Endreim-Spiele mit Felix Mendelssohn: Weimar, November 1821 (Berlin, 1970)
  • J. Newsom: Introduction to F. Mendelssohn: Octet op.20 (Washington, DC, 1976) [autograph of 1st version]
  • L.A. Bianchi and F. Sciannameo, ed.: Mendelssohn's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Op.64 (New York, 1991)
  • R. Koyanagi, ed.: Mendelssohn (Tokyo, 1992) [facs. of 74 watercolours and drawings in GB-Ob and D-B]
  • J.M. Cooper, ed.: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Sinfonie A-dur Op.90 (Wiesbaden, 1997)
  • T. Schmidt-Beste, ed.: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: ‘Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen’ (Stuttgart, 1997)
F: Memoirs, recollections
  • J.C. Lobe: ‘Gespräche mit Felix Mendelssohn’, Fliegende Blätter für Musik (Leipzig, 1855–7), i, 280–96
  • L. Rellstab: Aus meinem Leben (Berlin, 1861), ii, 135–48
  • B. Lumley: Reminiscences of the Opera (London, 1864/R), 156–74
  • H. Phillips: Musical and Personal Recollections during Half a Century (London, 1864), ii, 230–47
  • E. Genast: Aus dem Tagebuche eines alten Schauspielers (Leipzig, 1865), 3, 217–27, 256–62
  • A.B. Marx: Erinnerungen aus meinem Leben (Berlin, 1865)
  • C. Gollmick: Auto-Biographie (Frankfurt, 1866), ii, 104–9
  • J. Schubring: ‘Erinnerungen an Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Daheim, 2 (1866), 373–6; Eng. trans. in Musical World (12 and 19 May 1866)
  • J.C. Lobe: ‘Ein Quartett bei Goethe: Erinnerung aus Weimars grosser Zeit’, Die Gartenlaube (1867), 4–8
  • E. Polko: Erinnerungen an Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Leipzig, 1868; Eng. trans., 1869/R)
  • E. Devrient: Meine Erinnerungen an Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy und seine Briefe an mich (Leipzig, 1869, 3/1891; Eng. trans., 1869/R)
  • H. Dorn: Aus meinem Leben, 3 (Berlin, 1872), 43–81; Eng. trans., abridged, in ‘Recollections of Felix Mendelssohn and his Friends’, Temple Bar (1872), Feb, 397–405
  • C.E. Horsley: ‘Reminiscences of Mendelssohn’, Dwight's Journal of Music, 32 (1872), 345–7, 353–5, 361–3
  • J.R. Planché: Recollections and Reflections (London, 1872, rev. 1901), i, 279–316
  • C. Moscheles: Aus Moscheles' Leben: nach Briefen und Tagebüchern (Leipzig, 1872–3; Eng. trans., 1873/R) [incl. correspondence with Mendelssohn]
  • H.F. Chorley: Autobiography, Memoirs, and Letters, ed. H.G. Hewlett (London, 1873) [incl. correspondence with Mendelssohn]
  • J. Eckardt: Ferdinand David und die Familie Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Leipzig, 1888)
  • H.S. Holland and W.S. Rockstro: Memoir of Madame Jenny Lind-Goldschmidt (London, 1891) [incl. letters from Mendelssohn]
  • W.J. von Wasielewski: ‘Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy und Robert Schumann: eine künstlerische Parallele mit Einflechtung persönlicher Erinnerungen’, Deutsche Revue, 19/3 (1894), 329–41
  • F.M. Müller: Auld Lang Syne (New York, 1898), 10–39
  • E. Hanslick: ‘Zur Erinnerung an Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’, Die Moderne Oper, viii: Am Ende des Jahrhunderts (Berlin, 1899/R), 409–20
  • T. Devrient: Jugenderinnerungen (Stuttgart, 1905)
  • H. Devrient, ed.: Briefwechsel zwischen Eduard und Therese Devrient (Stuttgart, 1909)
  • C. Reinecke: ‘Mendelssohn und Schumann als Lehrer’, NZM, Jg.78 (1911), 2–4
  • H. Davison, ed.: Music during the Victorian Era, from Mendelssohn to Wagner: Being the Memoirs of J.W. Davison (London, 1912) [incl. letters of Mendelssohn]
  • E. von Webern: ‘Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy aus den Erinnerungen des Generalleutnants Karl Emil von Webern’, Die Musik, 12/4 (1912–13), 67–94
  • G. Eismann, ed.: R. Schumann: Erinnerungen an Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Zwickau, 1947, enlarged 2/1948; Eng. trans., 1951)
  • K. Olsen and H. Topsøe-Jensen, eds.: H.C. Andersens Dagbøger 1825–1875 (Copenhagen, 1977)
  • I. Hempel, ed.: Erinnerungen an Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Leipzig, 1984)
  • R. Nichols, ed.: Mendelssohn Remembered (London, 1997)
G: Life and works
  • W.A. Lampadius: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: ein Denkmal für seine Freunde (Leipzig, 1848; Eng. trans., 1876; Eng. trans. with suppl. sketches by J. Benedict, H.F. Chorley, L. Rellstab and others, ed. W.L. Gage, 1865/R, enlarged 1887)
  • L. Stierlin: Biographie von Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Zürich, 1849)
  • J. Benedict: A Sketch of the Life and Works of the late Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (London, 1850, 2/1853)
  • W. Neumann: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: eine Biographie, Componisten der neueren Zeit, i (Kassel, 1854)
  • E. Krinitz [C. Selden]: La musique en Allemagne: Mendelssohn (Paris, 1867)
  • A. Reissmann: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: sein Leben und seine Werke (Berlin, 1867, enlarged 3/1893)
  • H. Barbedette: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: sa vie et ses oeuvres (Paris, 1868)
  • H. Doering: Leben und Wirken Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdys (Wolfenbüttel, 1878)
  • J. Sittard: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Leipzig, 1881)
  • W.S. Rockstro: Mendelssohn (London, 1884, later edns)
  • W.A. Lampadius: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: ein Gesammtbild seines Lebens und Wirkens (Leipzig, 1886/R)
  • J.C. Hadden: Mendelssohn (London, 1888, 2/1904 as Life of Mendelssohn)
  • E. Wolff: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Berlin, 1906, enlarged 2/1909)
  • K.H. Wörner: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Leben und Werk (Leipzig, 1947)
  • G. Grove: Beethoven–Schubert–Mendelssohn, ed. E. Blom (London, 1951) [repr. from Grove1]
  • P. Radcliffe: Mendelssohn (London, 1954, rev. 3/1990 by P. Ward Jones)
  • H.C. Worbs: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Leipzig, 1956, 2/1957)
  • H.E. Jacob: Felix Mendelssohn und seine Zeit: Bildnis und Schicksal eines Meisters (Frankfurt, 1959; Eng. trans., 1963/R)
  • H.G. Reissner: ‘Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy und Eduard Gans’, Publications of the Leo Baeck Institute, 4 (London, 1959), 92–110
  • E. Werner: Mendelssohn: a New Image of the Composer and his Age (New York, 1963; enlarged 2/1980)
  • K.-H. Köhler: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Leipzig, 1966, 2/1972)
  • S. Grossmann-Vendrey: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy und die Musik der Vergangenheit (Regensburg, 1969)
  • G.R. Marek: Gentle Genius: the Story of Felix Mendelssohn (New York, 1972)
  • P. Ranft: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: eine Lebenschronik (Leipzig, 1972)
  • Y. Tiénot: Mendelssohn: musicien complet (Paris, 1972)
  • W. Blunt: On Wings of Song: a Biography of Felix Mendelssohn (New York, 1974)
  • G.A. Wanner: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy und Basel (Basle, 1974)
  • H.C. Worbs: Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Hamburg, 1974)
  • W. Konold: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy und seine Zeit (Laaber, 1984)
  • R.L. Todd, ed.: Mendelssohn and his World (Princeton, NJ, 1991)
  • A. Richter: Mendelssohn: Leben, Werke, Dokumente (Mainz, 1994)
H: Biographical studies
  • V. Magnien: Etude biographique sur Félix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Beauvais, 1850)
  • H.F. Chorley: ‘The Last Days of Mendelssohn’, Modern German Music: Recollections and Criticisms (London, 1854/R), ii, 383–414
  • T. Marx: Adolf Bernhard Marx' Verhältnis zu Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Leipzig, 1869)
  • C. Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Goethe und Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Leipzig, 1871; Eng. trans. with addns by M.E. von Glehn, 1872, 2/1874/R)
  • S. Hensel: Die Familie Mendelssohn 1729–1847, nach Briefen und Tagebüchern (Berlin, 1879, 19/1959; Eng. trans., 1881/R)
  • G. Droysen: ‘Johann Gustav Droysen und Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’, Deutsche Rundschau, 111 (1902), 107–26, 193–215, 386–408
  • E. van der Straeten: ‘Mendelssohns und Schumanns Beziehungen zu J.H. Lübeck und Johann J.H. Verhulst’, Die Musik, 3/1 (1903–4), 8–20, 94–102
  • E. van der Straeten: ‘Streiflichter auf Mendelssohns und Schumanns Beziehungen zu zeitgenössischen Musikern’, Die Musik, 4/3 (1904–5), 25–34, 105–13
  • ‘Mendelssohn and his English Publisher’, MT, 46 (1905), 20–23, 167–9 [incl. letters to E. Buxton]
  • E. Rychnowsky: ‘Aus Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdys letzten Lebenstagen’, Die Musik, 8 (1908–9), 141–6
  • B. Hake: ‘Mendelssohn als Lehrer: mit bisher ungedruckten Briefen Mendelssohns an Wilhelm v. Boguslawski’, Deutsche Rundschau, 140 (1909), 453–70
  • M.B. Foster: History of the Philharmonic Society of London: 1813–1912 (London, 1912), 92–203
  • W. Altmann: ‘Mendelssohns Eintreten für Händel’, Die Musik, 12/2 (1912–13), 79–85
  • C.H. Müller: Felix Mendelssohn, Frankfurt am Main und der Cäcilien-Verein (Darmstadt, 1925)
  • W.H. Fischer: ‘Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: sein Leben und Wirken in Düsseldorf’, Niederrheinisches Musikfest, Düsseldorf, 95 (1926), 9–43
  • J. Petitpierre: Le mariage de Mendelssohn 1837–1847 (Lausanne, 1937; Eng. trans., 1947, as The Romance of the Mendelssohns)
  • J. Werner: ‘Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn’, ML, 28 (1947), 303–37
  • A. Ghislanzoni: ‘I rapporti fra Spontini e Mendelssohn’, Studi spontiniani: Iesi, Maiolati, Fabriano and Ancona 1951, 95–105
  • R. Sterndale Bennett: ‘The Death of Mendelssohn’, ML, 36 (1955), 374–6
  • M.F. Schneider: ‘Mendelssohn und Schiller in Luzern’, Die Ernte, 41 (Basle, 1960), 125–33
  • M.F. Schneider: Mendelssohn oder Bartholdy? Zur Geschichte eines Familiennamens (Basle, 1962)
  • R. Sietz: ‘Das Stammbuch von Julius Rietz’, Studien zur Musikgeschichte des Rheinlandes, lii: Karl Gustav Fellerer zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. H. Drux, K.W. Niemöller and W. Thoene (Cologne, 1962), 219–34
  • M.F. Schneider: ‘Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Herkommen und Jugendzeit in Berlin’, Jb der Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz 1963, 157–68
  • E. Rudolph: Der junge Felix Mendelssohn: ein Beitrag zur Musikgeschichte der Stadt Berlin (diss., Humboldt U., Berlin, 1964)
  • K.W. Niemöller: ‘Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy und das Niederrheinische Musikfest 1835 in Köln’, Studien zur Musikgeschichte des Rheinlandes, iii: Heinrich Hüschen zum 50. Geburtstag, ed. U. Eckart-Bäcker (Cologne, 1965), 46–64
  • R. Sietz: ‘Felix Mendelssohn und Ferdinand Hiller I: ihre persönlichen Beziehungen’, Jb des Kölnischen Geschichtsvereins, 41 (1967), 96; continued as ‘[Mendelssohn und Hiller] II: ihre künstlerischen Beziehungen’, xliii (1971), 101–30
  • J. Forner: ‘Mendelssohns Mitstreiter am Leipziger Konservatorium’, BMw, 14 (1972), 185–204
  • H. Kupferberg: The Mendelssohns: Three Generations of Genius (London and New York, 1972)
  • E. Rudolph: ‘Mendelssohns Beziehungen zu Berlin’, BMw, 14 (1972), 205–14
  • E. Werner: ‘Mendelssohniana dem Andenken Wilhelm Fischers’, Mf, 28 (1975), 19–33
  • E. Werner: ‘Mendelssohniana II, den Manen Egon Wellesz, des Freundes und Mentors’, Mf, 30 (1977), 492–501
  • D. Jenkins and M. Visocchi: Mendelssohn in Scotland (London, 1978)
  • R. Grumbacher and A. Rosenthal: ‘“Dieses einzige Stückchen Welt …”: über ein Albumblatt von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Totum me libris dedo: Festschrift zum 80. Geburtstag von Adolf Seebass, ed. A. Moirandat, H. Spilker and V. Tammann (Basle, 1979), 53–61
  • A. van Amerongen: ‘Mendelssohn contra Fétis: een musikcritisch incident uit 1829’, Mens en Melodie, 38 (1983), 260–63
  • P. Ward Jones: ‘The Library of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Festschrift Rudolf Elvers, ed. E. Herttrich and H. Schneider (Tutzing, 1985), 289–328
  • J.-M. Bailbé: ‘Mendelssohn à Paris en 1831–1832’, Music in Paris in the Eighteen Thirties, ed. P. Bloom (Stuyvesant, NY, 1987), 23–39
  • H. Flashar: ‘August Böckh und Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Disiecta membra: Studien, ed. W. Schmidt-Biggemann (Basle, 1989), 581–96
  • R. Elvers: ‘Ein Schwede besucht die Mendelssohns: aus den Reisenbriefen des Hendrik Munktell 1829/30’, Neue Musik und Tradition: Festschrift Rudolf Stephan, ed. J. Kuckertz and others (Laaber, 1990), 233–7
  • E. Klessmann: Die Mendelssohns: Bilder aus einer deutschen Familie (Zürich, 1990)
  • B. Appel: ‘Musikbeiträge im Album der Constanze Erdmunde Jacobi’, Das Stammbuch der Constanze Dawison geb. Jacobi (Dusseldorf, 1991), 9–14
  • W. Goldhan and P. Kaubisch: Schottische Skizzen: eine Reise nach Aufzeichnungen von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Berlin, 1992)
  • F. Tillard: Fanny Mendelssohn (Paris, 1992; Eng. trans., 1996)
  • F. Krummacher: ‘Bach, Berlin und Mendelssohn’, JbSIM 1993, 44–78
  • B. Richter: Frauen um Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Frankfurt, 1997)
I: Works
    (i) Instrumental
    • F.G. Edwards: ‘Mendelssohn's Organ Sonatas’, PMA, 21 (1894–5), 1–16; see also MT, xlii (1901), 794–8 and xlvii (1906), 95–100
    • J.W.G. Hathaway: An Analysis of Mendelssohn's Organ Works: a Study of their Structural Features (London, 1898/R)
    • A. Heuss: ‘Das “Dresdner Amen” im ersten Satz von Mendelssohns Reformationssinfonie’, Signale für die Musikalische Welt, 62 (1904), 281–4, 305–8
    • O.A. Mansfield: ‘Some Characteristics and Peculiarities of Mendelssohn's Organ Sonatas’, MQ, 3 (1917), 562–76
    • W. Kahl: ‘Zu Mendelssohns Liedern ohne Worte’, ZMw, 3 (1920–21), 459–69
    • J. Kahn: ‘Ein unbekanntes “Lied ohne Worte” von Felix Mendelssohn’, Die Musik, 16 (1923–4), 824
    • H. and L.H. Tischler: ‘Mendelssohn's Songs without Words’, MQ, 33 (1947), 1–16
    • E. Werner: ‘Two Unpublished Mendelssohn Concertos’, ML, 36 (1955), 126–38
    • D. Mintz: ‘Melusine: a Mendelssohn Draft’, MQ, 43 (1957), 480–99
    • S. Vendrey: Die Orgelwerke von Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (diss., U. of Vienna, 1965)
    • H.C. Wolff: ‘Zur Erstausgabe von Mendelssohns Jugendsinfonien’, DJbM, 12 (1967), 96–115
    • G.B. Friedrich: Die Fugenkomposition in Mendelssohns Instrumentalwerk (diss., U. of Bonn, 1969)
    • A.J. Filosa: The Early Symphonies and Chamber Music of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (diss., Yale U., 1970)
    • J.A. McDonald: The Chamber Music of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (diss., Northwestern U., 1970)
    • R. Gerlach: ‘Mendelssohns Kompositionsweise: Vergleich zwischen Skizzen und Letztfassung des Violinkonzerts op.64’, AMw, 28 (1971), 119–33
    • R. Gerlach: ‘Mendelssohns schöpferische Erinnerung der “Jugendzeit”: die Beziehungen zwischen dem Violinkonzert, op.64, und dem Oktett für Streicher, op.20’, Mf, 25 (1972), 142–52
    • M. Thomas: Das Instrumentalwerk Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdys: eine systematisch-theoretische Untersuchung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der zeitgenössischen Musiktheorie (Kassel, 1972)
    • F. Reininghaus: ‘Studie zur bürgerlichen Musiksprache: Mendelssohns “Lieder ohne Worte” als historisches, ästhetisches und politisches Problem’, Mf, 28 (1975), 34–51
    • H. Kohlhase: ‘Studien zur Form in den Streichquartetten von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, HJbMw, 2 (1977), 75–104
    • D. Seaton: ‘A Draft for the Exposition of the First Movement of Mendelssohn's “Scotch” Symphony’, JAMS, 30 (1977), 129–35
    • D.L. Butler: ‘The Organ Works of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, The Diapason, 69 (1977–8), no.3, pp.4–6; no.5, pp.1, 4, 6; no.7, pp.1, 10–11; lxx/12 (1978–9), 6, 13–19; appx and review, lxxi/2 (1980), 10–11
    • F. Krummacher: Mendelssohn, der Komponist: Studien zur Kammermusik für Streicher (Munich, 1978)
    • R.M. Longyear: ‘Cyclic Form and Tonal Relationships in Mendelssohn's “Scottish” Symphony’, In Theory Only, 4/7 (1978–9), 38–48
    • R.L. Todd: ‘Of Sea Gulls and Counterpoint: the Early Versions of Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture’, 19CM, 2 (1978–9), 197–213
    • R.L. Todd: The Instrumental Music of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Selected Studies Based on Primary Sources (diss., Yale U., 1979)
    • R.L. Todd: ‘An Unfinished Symphony by Mendelssohn’, ML, 61 (1980), 293–309
    • W. Konold: ‘Die zwei Fassungen der “Italienischen Symphonie” von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, GfMKB: Bayreuth 1981, 410–15
    • R.L. Todd: ‘A Sonata by Mendelssohn’, Piano Quarterly, 29 (1981), 30–41
    • R.L. Todd: ‘An Unfinished Piano Concerto by Mendelssohn’, MQ, 68 (1982), 80–101
    • T. Ehrle: Die Instrumentation in den Symphonien und Ouvertüren von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Wiesbaden, 1983)
    • R. Parkins and R.L. Todd: ‘Mendelssohn's Fugue in F minor: a Discarded Movement of the First Organ Sonata’, Organ Yearbook, 14 (1983), 61–77
    • F. Bötel: Mendelssohns Bachrezeption und ihre Konsequenzen dargestellt an den Präludien und Fugen Op.37 (Munich, 1984)
    • W. Konold: ‘Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdys “Rondo brillant” Op.29: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des einsätzigen Konzertstücks im 19. Jahrhundert’, Mf, 38 (1985), 169–83
    • W. Konold: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Symphonie Nr.4 A-Dur Op.90, ‘Die Italienische’ (Munich, 1987)
    • J. Silber: Mendelssohn and the “Reformation” Symphony: a Critical and Historical Study (diss., Yale U., 1987)
    • J. Silber: ‘Mendelssohn and his “Reformation” Symphony’, JAMS, 40 (1987), 310–36
    • C. Jost: Mendelssohns ‘Lieder ohne Worte’ (Tutzing, 1988)
    • G. Hartmann: ‘Ein Albumblatt für Eliza Wesley’, NZM, Jg.150 (1989), 10–14
    • W. Konold: ‘Mendelssohns Jugendsymphonien: eine analytische Studie’, AMw, 46 (1989), 1–41, 155–83
    • R.L. Todd: ‘From the Composer's Workshop: two little-known Fugues by Mendelssohn’, MT, 131 (1990), 183–7
    • R.L. Todd: ‘Piano Music Reformed: the Case of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Nineteenth-Century Piano Music (New York, 1990), 178–220
    • U. Wüster: ‘“Ein gewisser Geist”: zu Mendelssohns Reformations-Symphonie’, Mf, 44 (1991), 311–30
    • W. Konold: Die Symphonien Mendelssohn Bartholdys (Laaber, 1992)
    • R.L. Todd: ‘“Gerade das Lied wie es dasteht”: on Text and Meaning in Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte’, Musical Humanism and its Legacy: Studies in the History of Music Theory, ed. N.K. Baker and B.R. Hanning (Stuyvesant, NY, 1992), 355–79
    • W.L. Pelto: Musical Structure and Extramusical Meaning in the Concert Overtures of Felix Mendelssohn (diss., U. of Texas, 1993)
    • R.L. Todd: Mendelssohn: ‘The Hebrides’ and Other Overtures (Cambridge, 1993)
    • P. Ward Jones: ‘Mendelssohn's Opus 1: Bibliographical Problems of the C minor Piano Quartet’, Sundry Sorts of Music Books: Essays on the British Library Collections, ed. C. Banks, A. Searle and M. Turner (London, 1993), 264–73
    • M. Wilson: Felix Mendelssohn's Works for Solo Piano and Orchestra: Sources and Composition (diss., Florida State U., 1993)
    • J.M. Cooper: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and the ‘Italian’ Symphony: Historical, Musical and Extramusical Perspectives (diss., Duke U., 1994)
    • B. Pelker: ‘“Zwischen absoluter und Programmusik”: Bemerkungen zu Mendelssohns “Hebriden”-Ouvertüre’, Studien zur Musikgeschichte: eine Festschrift für Ludwig Finscher, ed. A. Laubenthal and K. Kusan-Windweh (Kassel, 1995), 560–71
    • R.L. Todd: ‘New Light on Mendelssohn's Freie Phantasie (1840)’, Literary and Musical Notes: a Festschrift for Wm. A. Little, ed. G.C. Orth (Berne, 1995), 205–18
    • P. Mercer-Taylor: ‘Mendelssohn's “Scottish” Symphony and the Music of German Memory’, 19CM, 19 (1995–6), 68–82
    • T.C. Schmidt: Die ästhetischen Grundlagen der Instrumentalmusik Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdys (Stuttgart, 1996)
    • R.L. Todd: ‘Mendelssohn’, The Nineteenth-Century Symphony, ed. D. Kern Holoman (New York, 1997), 78–107
    • R.L. Todd: ‘The Chamber Music of Mendelssohn’, Nineteenth-Century Chamber Music, ed. S.E. Hefling (New York, 1998), 170–207
    • S.D. Lindemann: ‘Mendelssohn and Moscheles: Two Composers, Two Scores, One Concerto’, MQ, 83 (1999), 51–74
    (ii) Vocal
    • O. Jahn: Über F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's Oratorium Paulus (Kiel, 1842)
    • O. Jahn: ‘Ueber F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy's Oratorium Elias’, AMZ, 50 (1848), 113–22, 137–43
    • F. Zander: Über Mendelssohns Walpurgisnacht (Kon̈igsberg, 1862)
    • J. Bennett: ‘Elijah: a Comparison of the Original and Revised Scores’, MT, 23 (1882), 525–8, 653–6; xxiv (1883), 6–10, 67–72, 123–5, 182–5
    • F.G. Edwards: The History of Mendelssohn's Oratorio ‘Elijah’ (London, 1896/R)
    • G. Grove: ‘Mendelssohn's Oratorio “St Paul”’, MT, 50 (1909), 92–4
    • R. Werner: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy als Kirchenmusiker (Frankfurt, 1930)
    • A. van der Linden: ‘Un fragment inédit du “Lauda Sion” de F. Mendelssohn’, AcM, 26 (1954), 48–64
    • J. Werner: Mendelssohn's ‘Elijah’: a Historical and Analytical Guide to the Oratorio (London, 1965)
    • T. Stoner: Mendelssohn's Published Songs (diss., U. of Maryland, 1972)
    • R. Szeskus: ‘“Die erste Walpurgisnacht”, op.60, von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, BMw, 17 (1975), 171–80
    • B.W. Pritchard: ‘Mendelssohn's Chorale Cantatas: an Appraisal’, MQ, 62 (1976), 1–24
    • G. Feder: ‘Zwischen Kirche und Konzertsaal: zu Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdys geistlicher Musik’, Religiöse Musik in nicht-liturgischen Werken von Beethoven bis Reger, ed. G. Massenkeil, K.W. Niemöller and G. Schreiber (Regensburg, 1978), 97–117
    • A. Kurzhals-Reuter: Die Oratorien Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdys: Untersuchungen zur Quellenlage, Entstehung, Gestaltung und Überlieferung (Tutzing, 1978)
    • H. Flashar: ‘F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdys Vertonung antiker Dramen’, Berlin und die Antike, ed. W. Arenhövel and G. Schreiber (Berlin, 1979), 351–61 [see also appx I: ‘Übersetzungsversuche der Chorpartien der “Antigone” des Sophokles durch F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’]
    • T. Stoner: ‘Mendelssohn's Lieder not included in the Werke’, FAM, 26 (1979), 258–66
    • C. Dahlhaus: ‘Hoch symbolisch intentoniert: zu Mendelssohns Erster Walpurgisnacht’, ÖMz, 36 (1981), 290–97
    • W. Schulze: ‘Mendelssohns Choralkantaten’, Logos musicae: Festschrift für Albert Palm, ed. R. Görner (Wiesbaden, 1982), 188–93
    • D. Seaton: ‘The Romantic Mendelssohn: the Composition of Die erste Walpurgisnacht’, MQ, 68 (1982), 398–410
    • R.L. Todd: ‘A Passion Cantata by Mendelssohn’, American Choral Review, 25/1 (1983), 3–17
    • H.C. Wolff: ‘Der zweite Psalm Op.78, 1 von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Chormusik und Analyse, ed. H. Poos (Mainz, 1983), 213–22
    • E. Werner: ‘Felix Mendelssohn's Commissioned Composition for the Hamburg Temple: the 100th Psalm (1844)’, Musica judaica, 7 (1984–5), 54–7
    • F. Krummacher: ‘Religiosität und Kunstcharakter: über Mendelssohns Paulus’, Geistliche Musik: Studien zu ihrer Geschichte und Funktion im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert, ed. P. Petersen (Laaber, 1985), 97–117
    • R.M. Campbell: ‘Mendelssohn's Te Deum’, American Choral Review, 28/2 (1986), 3–16
    • A. Richter: ‘Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: “Die erste Walpurgisnacht” Op.60’, NZM, Jg.147 (1986), 33–40
    • M. Staehelin: ‘Elias, Johann Sebastian Bach, und der Neue Bund: zur Arie “Es ist genug” in Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdys Oratorium Elias’, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Oratoriums seit Händel: Festschrift Günther Massenkeil, ed. R. Cadenbach and H. Loos (Bonn, 1986), 283–96; Eng. trans. in Mendelssohn and his World, ed. R.L. Todd (Princeton, NJ, 1991), 121–36
    • A. Clostermann: Mendelssohn Bartholdys kirchenmusikalisches Schaffen (Mainz, 1989)
    • E. Reimer: ‘Textanlage und Szenengestaltung in Mendelssohns “Paulus”’, AMw, 46 (1989), 42–69
    • R. Kapp: ‘Lobgesang’, Neue Musik und Tradition: Festschrift Rudolf Stephan, ed. J. Kuckertz and others (Laaber, 1990), 239–49
    • P. Zappalà: Le ‘Choralkantaten’ di Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Venice, 1991)
    • M. Meiser: ‘Das Paulusbild bei Mendelssohn und Mendelssohns christliche Selbsterfahrung’, Musik und Kirche, 62 (1992), 259–64
    • W. Dinglinger: Studien zu den Psalmen mit Orchester von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Cologne, 1993)
    • E. Reimer: ‘Mendelssohns “edler Gesang”: zur Kompositionsweise der Sologesänge in “Paulus”’, AMw, 50 (1993), 44–70
    • P. Zappalà: ‘Di alcuni mottetti giovanili di Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Ottocento e oltre: scritti in onore di Raoul Meloncelli, ed. F. Izzo and J. Streicher (Rome, 1993), 203–33
    • D. Brodbeck: ‘Eine kleine Kirchenmusik: a New Canon, a Revised Cadence, and an Obscure “Coda” by Mendelssohn’, JM, 12 (1994), 179–205
    • K.E. Hatteberg: ‘Gloria’ (1822) and ‘Grosse Festmusik zum Dürerfest’ (1828): Urtext Editions of Two Unpublished Choral Orchestral Works by Felix Mendelssohn (diss., U. of Iowa, 1995)
    • E. Reimer: ‘Regenwunder und Witwenszene: zur Szenengestaltung in Mendelssohns “Elias”’, Mf, 49 (1996), 152–71
    • R. Wehner: Studien zum geistlichen Chorschaffen des jungen Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Leipzig, 1997)
    • J.S. Sposato: The Price of Assimilation: The Oratorios of Felix Mendelssohn and Nineteenth-Century Anti-Semitic Tradition (diss., Brandeis U., 2000)
    (iii) Stage
    • F. Liszt: ‘Über Mendelssohns Musik zum “Sommernachtstraum”’, NZM, 40 (1854), 233–7
    • J.J. Bussinger: Über Felix Mendelssohn und seine Musik zur Antigone (Basle, c1862)
    • G.A. Macfarren: Mendelssohn's Antigone (London, 1865)
    • A.M. Little: Mendelssohn’s Music to the Antigone of Sophocles (Washington DC, 1893)
    • F. Schünemann: ‘Mendelssohn's Jugendopern’, ZMw, 5 (1922–3), 506–45
    • R. Elvers, ed.: ‘Nichts ist so schwer gut zu componiren als Strophen’: zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Librettos von Felix Mendelssohns Oper ‘Die Hochzeit des Camacho’ (Berlin, 1976)
    • H. Flashar: ‘Mendelssohns Schauspielmusik zu “Antigone” und “Oedipus in Kolonos”’, Jb der Ruhr-Universität Bochum 1979, 95–100
    • J. Warrack: ‘Mendelssohn's Operas’, Music and Theatre: Essays in Honour of Winton Dean, ed. N. Fortune (Cambridge, 1987), 263–97
    • T. Krettenauer: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdys ‘Heimkehr aus der Fremde’ (Augsburg, 1994)
    (iv) Miscellaneous topics
    • F. Chrysander: ‘Mendelssohns Orgelbegleitung zu Israel in Ägypten’, Jb für musikalische Wissenschaft, 2 (1867/R), 249–67
    • K.G. Fellerer: ‘Mendelssohns Orgelstimmen zu Händelschen Werken’, HJb 1931, 79–97
    • D.M. Mintz: The Sketches and Drafts of Three of Mendelssohn's Major Works (diss., Cornell U., 1960) [on Elijah, the ‘Italian’ Symphony and the D minor Trio]
    • K.-H. Köhler: ‘Das Jugendwerk Felix Mendelssohns: die vergessene Kindheitsentwicklung eines Genies’, DJbM, 7 (1962), 18–35
    • P. Mies: ‘Über die Kirchenmusik und über neu entdeckte Werke bei Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Musica sacra [Regensburg], 83 (1963), 212–17, 246–50
    • R. Sietz: ‘Die musikalische Gestaltung der Loreleysage bei Max Bruch, Felix Mendelssohn und Ferdinand Hiller’, Max Bruch-Studien: zum 50. Todestag des Komponisten, ed. D. Kämper (Cologne, 1970), 14–45
    • R. Elvers: ‘Auf den Spuren der Autographen von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, Beiträge zur Musikdokumentation: Franz Grasberger zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. G. Brosche (Tutzing, 1975), 83–91
    • D. Seaton: A Study of a Collection of Mendelssohn's Sketches and other Autograph Material, Deutsche Staatsbibliothek Berlin ‘Mus.Ms.Autogr.Mendelssohn 19’ (diss., Columbia U., 1977)
    • R.L. Todd: Mendelssohn's Musical Education: a Study and Edition of his Exercises in Composition (Cambridge, 1983)
    • F. Krummacher: ‘Komponieren als Anpassung? Über Mendelssohns Musik im Verhältnis zu England’, Musik ohne Grenzen, ed. W. Konold (Munich, 1985), i, 132–56; Eng. trans. in Mendelssohn Studies, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1992), 80–105
    • R.L. Todd: ‘A Mendelssohn Miscellany’, ML, 71 (1990), 52–64
    • G. Vitercik: The Early Works of Felix Mendelssohn (Philadelphia, 1992)
    J: Other studies
    • F. Brendel: ‘Robert Schumann mit Rücksicht auf Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’, NZM, 22 (1845), 113–15, 121–3, 145–7, 149–50
    • W.H. Riehl: ‘Bach und Mendelssohn aus dem socialen Gesichtspunkte’, Musikalische Charakterköpfe (Stuttgart, 1857), 75–116
    • R. Niecks: ‘On Mendelssohn and some of his Contemporary Critics’, MMR, 5 (1875), 162–4
    • L. Leven: Mendelssohn als Lyriker unter besonderer Berücksichtigung seiner Beziehungen zu Ludwig Berger, Bernhard Klein und Adolph Bernhard (diss., U. of Frankfurt, 1926)
    • G. Kinsky: ‘Was Mendelssohn Indebted to Weber?’, MQ, 19 (1933), 178–86
    • M. Kingdon-Ward: ‘Mendelssohn and the Clarinet’, MMR, 83 (1953), 60–65
    • R. Sterndale Bennett: ‘Mendelssohn as Editor of Handel’, MMR, 86 (1956), 83–94
    • D. Mintz: ‘Mendelssohn's Water Color of the Gewandhaus’, Notes, 18 (1960–61), 211–18
    • H. Engel: ‘Die Grenzen der romantischen Epoche und der Fall Mendelssohn’, Festschrift Otto Erich Deutsch, ed. W. Gerstenberg and others (Kassel, 1963), 259–72
    • M. Geck: Die Wiederentdeckung der Matthäuspassion im 19. Jahrhundert (Regensberg, 1967)
    • G. Hendrie: Mendelssohn's Rediscovery of Bach (London, 1971)
    • C. Lowenthal-Hensel, ed.: Mendelssohn-Studien, 1–11 (Berlin, 1972–99)
    • E. Werner: ‘Mendelssohn–Wagner: eine alte Kontroverse in neuer Sicht’, Musicae scientiae collectanea: Festschrift Karl Gustav Fellerer zum siebzigsten Geburtstag, ed. H. Hüschen (Cologne, 1973), 640–58
    • C. Dahlhaus, ed.: Das Problem Mendelssohn (Regensburg, 1974)
    • J. Godwin: ‘Early Mendelssohn and Late Beethoven’, ML, 55 (1974), 272–85
    • H.-K. Metzger and R. Riehn, eds.: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Musik-Konzepte, nos.14–15 (Munich, 1980)
    • F. Krautwurst: ‘Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy als Bratschist’, Gedenkschrift Hermann Beck, ed. H. Dechant and W. Sieber (Laaber, 1982), 151–60
    • G. Schuhmacher, ed.: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Darmstadt, 1982)
    • E. Werner: ‘Felix Mendelssohn–Gustav Mahler: Two Borderline Cases of German-Jewish Assimilation’, Yuval, 4 (1982), 240–64
    • W. Konold: ‘Mendelssohn und Brahms’, Brahms Analysen: Kiel 1983, 81–90
    • M. Crum: ‘Mendelssohn's Drawing and the Doubled Life of Memory’, Festschrift Albi Rosenthal, ed. R. Elvers (Tutzing, 1984), 87–103
    • J.W. Finson and R.L. Todd, eds.: Mendelssohn and Schumann: Essays on their Music and its Context (Durham, NC, 1984)
    • C. Dahlhaus: ‘Studien zur romantischen Musikästhetik, I: “Lieder ohne Worte”’, AMw, 42 (1985), 157–65
    • R. Meloncelli: ‘Palestrina e Mendelssohn’, Palestriniani II: Palestrina 1986, 439–60
    • P. Krause: ‘Unbekannte Dokumente zur Uraufführung von Franz Schuberts grosser C-Dur-Sinfonie durch Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’, BMw, 29 (1987), 240–50
    • H. Federhofer: ‘Zu Felix Mendelssohns Händel-Interpretation im Urteil der Mit- und Nachwelt’, Musicologica austriaca, 8 (1988), 27–39
    • M. Pape: Mendelssohns Leipziger Orgelkonzert 1840 (Wiesbaden, 1988)
    • Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Repräsentant und/oder Aussenseiter?: Kassel 1991
    • R.L. Todd: ‘Mozart According to Mendelssohn: a Contribution to Rezeptionsgeschichte’, Perspectives on Mozart Performance, ed. R.L. Todd and P. Williams (Cambridge, 1991), 158–203
    • W. Konold: ‘Mendelssohn und der späte Beethoven’, Münchener Beethoven-Studien, ed. J. Fischer (Munich, 1992), 183–91
    • R.L. Todd, ed.: Mendelssohn Studies (Cambridge, 1992)
    • M. Wilson: ‘Mendelssohn's Wife: Love, Art, and Romantic Biography’, Nineteenth-Century Studies, 6 (1992), 1–18
    • Felix Mendelssohn: Mitwelt und Nachwelt: Leipzig 1993
    • L. Botstein: ‘Songs without Words: Thoughts on Music, Theology, and the Role of the Jewish Question in the Work of Felix Mendelssohn’, MQ, 77 (1993), 561–78
    • E. Kellenberger: ‘Felix Mendelssohn als Librettist eines Moses-Oratoriums’, Musik und Kirche, 63 (1993), 126–39
    • M. Marissen: ‘Religious Aims in Mendelssohn's 1829 Berlin-Singakademie Performances of Bach's St Matthew Passion’, MQ, 77 (1993), 718–26
    • Felix Mendelssohn Batholdy: Berlin 1994
    • B. Heyder and C. Spering, eds.: Blickpunkt Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Cologne, 1994)
    • R.L. Todd: ‘On the Visual in Mendelssohn's Music’, ‘Cari amici’: Festschrift 25 Jahre Carus-Verlag, ed. B. Mohn and H. Ryschawy (Stuttgart, 1997), 115–24
    • M.P. Steinberg: ‘Mendelssohn's Music and German-Jewish Culture: an Intervention’, MQ, 83 (1999), 31–44
    • D. Seaton, ed.: The Mendelssohn Companion (Westport, CT, 2000)
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