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Song Without Words for piano No. 2 in A minor, Op. 19b/2
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Songs Without Words
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Shipping cost cannot be calculated. Please enter a valid ZIP Code. Shipping to: Worldwide. No additional import charges at delivery! This item will be shipped through the Global Shipping Program and includes international tracking. Learn more - opens in a new window or tab. Advanced search. To contemporaries of Mendelssohn the notion of songs without wordsseemed paradoxical.
If there were no words, in fact, there could be no song.
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- Felix Mendelssohn: Exploring Piano Masterworks: Songs without Words (5 Selections)?
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Yet what Mendelssohn achieved was exactly what his title suggested, music inits purest and simplest form, expressing its own musical meaning, imbued withfeeling, but without verbal connotation. At the same time short piano pieces ofthis kind would always find a ready amateur market and would be welcomed bypublishers, although this may have been irrelevant to the composer's purpose. Felix Mendelssohn, grandson of Moses Mendelssohn, the great Jewishthinker of the Enlightenment, was born in Hamburg in , the son of aprosperous banker.
His family was influential in cultural circles, and he andhis sister were educated in an environment that encouraged both musical andgeneral cultural interests.
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At the same time the extensive acquaintance of theMendelssohns among artists and men of letters brought an unusual breadth ofmind, a stimulus to natural curiosity. Much of Mendelssohn's childhood was passed in Berlin, where his parentsmoved when he was three, to escape Napoleonic invasion. There he took lessonsfrom Goethe's much admired Zelter, who introduced him to the old poet inWeimar. The choice of a career in music was eventually decided on the advice ofCherubini, consulted by Abraham Mendelssohn in Paris, where he was director ofthe Conservatoire.
There followed a period of further education, a Grand Tourof Europe that took him south to ltaly and north to Scotland. His professionalcareer began in earnest with his appointment as general director of music inD?? Mendelssohn's subsequent career was intense and brief. He settled inLeipzig as conductor of the Gewandhaus concerts, and was instrumental inestablishing the Conservatory there.
Exploring Piano Masterworks : Maurice Hinson :
Briefly lured to Berlin by the King ofPrussia and by the importunity of his family, he spent an unsatisfactory yearor so as director of the music section of the Academy of Arts, providing musicfor a revival of classical drama under royal encouragement. This appointment hewas glad to relinquish in , later returning to his old position in Leipzig,where he died in As a composer Mendelssohn possessed a perfect technical command of theresources available to him and was always able to write music that isfelicitous, apt and often remarkably economical in the way it achieves itseffects.
Mendelssohn had, like the rest of his family, accepted Christianbaptism, a ceremony Heine once described as a ticket of admission into Europeanculture. Nevertheless he encountered anti-Semitic prejudice, as others were to,and false ideas put about in his own life-time have left some trace in modernrepetitions of accusations of superficiality for which there is no realjustification.
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The series of Songs without Words that Mendelssohn wrote and published from onwards serve as a very personalmusical diary in which the composer expressed very precisely musical ideas thathad, he alleged, no verbal equivalent. It was left to later publishers tosuggest titles for the pieces, a procedure that Mendelssohn himself deplored. The Op. Five of these are included in the presentcollection, starting with the first, a gently evocative little piece, followedby the third, a Hunting-Song, and the second, which some publishers haveentitled Regrets.
The second set of half a dozen Songswithout Words appeared in Bonn in Here included are thefourth, fifth and sixth, the exciting first of these known to publishers as The Wanderer , the flowing second of thegroup as The Brook and the last asecond Venetian Gondolier's Song. From the third set come Nos. These, published in as Op. Whatever the composer's view of thetitles, they do at least suggest a possible interpretation of the mood of eachpiece.