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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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• Keyboard Playing

• Keyboard Playing

(p.201) 25 • Keyboard Playing
A Portrait of Mendelssohn

Clive Brown

Yale University Press

Almost all musicians who came into direct contact with Felix Mendelssohn were impressed by his extraordinary abilities as an executant musician. Clara Schumann, Ferdinand Hiller, and others noted how Mendelssohn, in his mature years, rarely practiced the keyboard. Aside from his great aptitude to acquire, Mendelssohn displayed a singular vivacity and willingness of finger that made all the combination of keyed instruments easy to him. Contrary to the notion that Mendelssohn's immense abilities were somehow inborn, and that his seemingly flawless technique was acquired without effort, he practiced diligently as a young man. By the time he was fifteen years old, Mendelssohn already had a great command of the piano. Mendelssohn's organ playing was as remarkable as his piano playing, particularly when it came to organ improvisation. In later years he was considered one of the finest pianists and organists in Europe.

Keywords:   keyboard, organ playing, piano playing, improvisation, Europe

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