Mendelssohn Essays

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When R. Larry Todd's biography, Mendelssohn: A Life in Music, appeared in 2003, it won acclaim from several critics as a definitive biography. In researching Mendelssohn's life over the past two and a half decades, Todd uncovered much new information about the composer and his music, his family and his peers, and his complex reception history. Now, as we approach the 2009 bicentenary of Mendelssohn's birth, the author has chosen and compiled fifteen essays written between 1980 and 2005, including five previously unpublished, that examine several aspects of the composer whom Goethe and Heine likened to a second Mozart.

Mendelssohn Essays explores Mendelssohn's precocity, his musical impressions of British culture, the role of the visual in his music, his compositional response to Bach's St. Matthew Passion, and incomplete drafts from his musical estate of three instrumental "works. In addition, a group of three essays focuses on the music of Mendelssohn's sister Fanny Hensel, perhaps the most gifted woman composer of the century, and a significant, complex figure in the formation of the Mendelssohnian style.

About the Author:
R. Larry Todd is Arts & Sciences Professor of Music at Duke University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415978149
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/30/2007
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

R. Larry Todd is Professor of Musicology at Duke University. Hailed as "The dean of Mendelssohn scholars in the United States" by the New York Times, he has lectured and published widely on 19th century Romantic music. He is editor of the series Routledge Musical Genres.

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Table of Contents

Sources of the Essays     ix
Preface     xi
Acknowledgments     xv
List of Illustrations     xvii
Mendelssohn the Prodigy     3
Constructions of Mendelssohn and British-ness     23
Style and Influence
Mendelssohn's Ossianic Manner, with a New Source-On Lena's Gloomy Heath     51
On the Visual in Mendelssohn's Music     81
On Mendelssohn's Sacred Music, Real and Imaginary     93
Echoes of the St. Matthew Passion in the Music of Mendelssohn     117
The Chamber Music of Mendelssohn     135
Familiar and Unfamiliar Aspects of Mendelssohn's Octet     171
Me voila perruque: Mendelssohn's Six Preludes and Fugues Op. 35 Reconsidered     181
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel
Fanny Hensel and Musical Style     217
On Stylistic Affinities in the Works of Fanny Hensel and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy     233
Issues of Stylistic Identity in Fanny Hensel's Das Jahr (1841)     249
Compositional Process
The Unfinished Mendelssohn     263
An Unfinished Piano Concerto by Mendelssohn     285
An Unfinished Symphony by Mendelssohn     305
Bibliography     321
Index of Mendelssohn's Works     329
Index of Names     335
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