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Felix Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47)


German prodigy, composer and champion of the music of J.S. Bach. His overture A Midsummer Night's Dream was written when he was only 17; the youthful optimism and clarity of style and expression found in this piece was a characteristic of all his work. His role in the development of 'programme music' is seen in the overture The Hebrides. The oratorio Elijah was a firm favourite in victorian England, and among his lighter piano works the Songs Without Words have an enduring reputation. He was a founder of the Leipzig Conservatoire. His death followed shortly after that of his beloved and equally talented sister, Fanny.

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