Mendelssohn in Performance

Mendelssohn in Performance

Edited by Siegwart Reichwald
Foreword by Christopher Hogwood
Distribution: World
Publication date: 9/3/2008
ISBN: 978-0-253-00261-7
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Exploring many aspects of Felix Mendelssohn's multi-faceted career as musician and how it intersects with his work as composer, contributors discuss practical issues of music making such as performance space, instruments, tempo markings, dynamics, phrasings, articulations, fingerings, and instrument techniques. They present the conceptual and ideological underpinnings of Mendelssohn's approach to performance, interpretation, and composing through the contextualization of specific performance events and through the theoretic actualization of performances of specific works. Contributors rely on manuscripts, marked or edited scores, and performance parts to convey a deeper understanding of musical expression in 19th-century Germany. This study of Mendelssohn's work as conductor, pianist, organist, violist, accompanist, music director, and editor of old and new music offers valuable perspectives on 19th-century performance practice issues.

Author Bio

Siegwart Reichwald is Associate Professor of Music History at Converse College and conducts the Converse Symphony Orchestra. He is author of The Musical Genesis of Felix Mendelssohn's Paulus. He lives in Spartansburg, South Carolina.


"[Offers] fresh insights into the practicalities of performing one of the most familiar, yet misunderstood figures of European classical music." —R. Larry Todd, Duke University

"This is a strikingly useful and welcome book that helps us not only understand Mendelssohn as a performer and composer but also details his place in contemporary culture and society. This first-class set of essays covers the entire range of Mendelssohn’s stunning achievements and highlights his originality." —Leon Botstein, President, Bard University

"This book does a superb job of explaining the 19th-century sound environment of Felix Mendelssohn and his audiences. . . . Essential." —
Choice , July 2009

Mendelssohn in Performance . . . should be on the shelf of every performer, scholar and devotee of Mendelssohn's music." —Nineteenth Century Music Review , July 2010, Vol. 7.1

"[Reichwald] has produced an exceptionally valuable, eminently useful, and very readable book. Any performer wishing to execute an historically informed performance of Mendelssohn's music—or of any other early-nineteenth-century Austro-German composer for that matter—would be well advised to study it thoroughly." —
Journal of Musicological Research

"[T]his book has something for everyone interested in Felix Mendelssohn: history,

culture, reception, orchestras and instruments, editions and texts, Mendelssohn’s sense of

historicism, his performances of other composers, performances of his music in his time and

later, and even modern films that use his music." —
Performance Practice Review

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Table of Contents

Foreword Christopher Hogwood

1. Mendelssohn's Audience Douglass Seaton
2. Mendelssohn and the Piano Kenneth Hamilton
3. Mendelssohn and the Organ Peter Ward Jones
4. The Performance of Mendelssohn's Chamber and Solo Music for Violin Clive Brown
5. Mendelssohn and the Orchestra David Milsom
6. Mendelssohn as Composer/Conductor: Early Performances of Paulus Siegwart Reichwald
7. From Drawing Room to Theater: Performance Traditions of Mendelssohn's Stage Works Monika Hennemann
8. Mendelssohn and the Performance of Handel's Vocal Works Ralf Wehner
9. From Notation to Edition to Performance: Issues in Interpretation John Michael Cooper
10. Mendelssohn's Tempo Indications Siegwart Reichwald
11. "For You See I Am the Eternal Objector": On Performing Mendelssohn's Music in Translation John Michael Cooper

List of Contributors