At the age of twelve, Felix Mendelssohn was already an intrepid improviser. His improvisation was inseparable from his performance of his own and other composers' music. Mendelssohn was willing to improvise an accompaniment to Johann Sebastian Bach's Chaconne for Solo Violin, or to change the arpeggiation in the Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue. In later years, improvisation continued to be a central component of Mendelssohn's creative activity in general and keyboard playing in particular.
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