Monday, November 5, 2007

Which Mendelssohn was more important?

Felix Mendelssohn was one of the few great 19th century composers born into wealth, which gave him much leisure time to enhance his own great talents and his intellectual curiosity.
The most noted pursuit outside of his own writings was the study of Bach, who at that time was known only to musicians and other intellectuals. At age 20, Mendelssohn was so entranced by his study of Bach's music, that he produced for the first time since Bach's one performance, a century before , a performance of the great "B" minor Mass(this in 1829). The result was for the need to give yet another performance. This is the moment of the establishment of the Bach Cult, which remains to this day. Some years ago, to recognize the first resurgence of Jewish music in Germany since World War II, Time Magazine produced an article on Mendelssohn. The article was very well written, and gave abundant testimony as to the importance of this composer; however, the writer left out one item; Mendelssohn's bringing forth of Bach's music to the masses . And so I wrote a letter to Time concerning this issue.Time called me and informed me that my letter would be published in the next issue.
And so I ask - which Mendelssohn was more important?

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