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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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• Critical Responses to Individual Works and Genres, 1837–1847

• Critical Responses to Individual Works and Genres, 1837–1847

(p.399) 47 • Critical Responses to Individual Works and Genres, 1837–1847
A Portrait of Mendelssohn

Clive Brown

Yale University Press

In the period until the publication of his oratorio St Paul, Felix Mendelssohn had primarily published instrumental music. After 1837, however, his public output mostly included vocal and choral music, especially music to religious texts. Thus, his development as a composer of sacred music drew considerable critical interest. On the other hand, his future as a dramatic composer became the subject of speculation. Some saw a future opera based on Walpurgisnacht cantata, his incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Antigone, Oedipus, and Athalie. Others considered his focus on oratorio as a sublimation of his propensity for drama, or even a preparatory step towards opera. This chapter discusses critical responses to Mendelssohn's individual works and genres during the period 1837–1847, focusing on his songs and instrumental music.

Keywords:   songs, instrumental music, choral music, sacred music, opera, A Midsummer Night's Dream, oratorio, Walpurgisnacht, Athalie

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