Thursday, January 12, 2012

Music of Mendelssohn

We were a little short on time to do our composer study this week, so I didn't get any extra books to add to it.  We just headed back to the beginning of the section on composer of the Romantic era in A Young Scholar's Guide to the Composers, and learned about Felix Mendelssohn. 

I'm somewhat familiar with Mendelssohn's music, having played quite a few of his piano compositions back in the days when I actually studied piano! And having played for a few weddings over the years, I'm familiar with the Wedding March from his overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream.  What I didn't know - or perhaps didn't remember - were some of the interesting facts about his life.  He was a child prodigy, performing at age 9 and composing mature works by the age of 12.  He was still a teenager when he wrote the overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream.  I also found it interesting to note that he was strong Christian, and that when he was given words from Scripture to set to music, he was very careful to use the words exactly as the text appeared in the Bible.  Sadly, Mendelssohn died at only 38 years of age.

We will listen to more of Mendelssohn's music tomorrow.  I'm particularly looking forward to hearing his Scottish Symphony as we study Scotland in Social Studies!

I vividly remember learning this Song Without Words (Opus 19, No. 1 in E Major) as a piano student.  It's one of the works that I can still play tolerably well, even after years of allowing my skills to grow very rusty.  I've always loved it.

This post is linked at ~a teaching heart~ where we are keeping each other accountable for making time for music in our homeschooling!

a teaching heart


Beth said...

Visiting your blog from A Teaching Heart. I am going to put your post in my favorites. We will be studying Mendelsshon next term.

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