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A Portrait of Mendelssohn$
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Clive Brown

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300095395

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300095395.001.0001

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• Between Berlin and Leipzig, 1841–1844

• Between Berlin and Leipzig, 1841–1844

21 • Between Berlin and Leipzig, 1841–1844
A Portrait of Mendelssohn

Clive Brown

Yale University Press

When King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia died in July 1840, he was succeeded by Friedrich Wilhelm IV. The new king, who as crown prince had taken a close interest in Felix Mendelssohn's activity in Düsseldorf, wanted to secure his services and bring him to Berlin. Christian Karl Josias von Bunsen and Wilhelm von Humboldt, both of whom knew Mendelssohn personally, persuaded Friedrich Wilhelm that Mendelssohn was the only person fit to be director of the musical division of the Academy of Arts. Despite his initial reservations, Mendelssohn moved to Berlin at the end of July, but remained open to the possibility of a return to Leipzig. The decision gave Mendelssohn the opportunity for composition. At the king's request, he composed orchestral music for productions of Sophocles's Antigone and William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Despite his duties in Berlin, Mendelssohn did not have to sever his ties with the Gewandhaus orchestra in 1841.

Keywords:   orchestral music, Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, Berlin, Academy of Arts, Leipzig, Antigone, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Gewandhaus orchestra

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