Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy 200th Birthday Felix Mendelssohn!

On February 3, 1809, Felix Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg, Germany. A child prodigy, he also became, despite his family heritage, a devout Christian, as reflected in his oratorios Elijah and Paul. Besides composing brilliant works of his own -- such as the overture (and Wedding March) to A Midsummer's Night Dream, a String Octet in E Flat Major, and a Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in E-flat major -- he also greatly contributed to the revival of interest in the music of J.S. Bach in the nineteenth century. His symphonies were powerful, and one that was composed for the 300th anniversary of the Lutheran Church -- Symphony No. 5, the "Reformation" Symphony -- is especially poignant too. As a man with the highest standards of excellence, he considered the work to be a failure, but its legacy endures as a tribute to the work of God in the history of man. The fourth movement is here presented for your enjoyment.

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