Mendelssohn’s Canny Histories
DOI link for Mendelssohn’s Canny Histories
Mendelssohn’s Canny Histories book
In the summer of 1829, the twenty-year-old Felix Mendelssohn traveled through Scotland, a trip that provided him not only with the moment of his self-perceived maturity but also with the metaphors with which to engage it musically. In Mendelssohn's music, Scottish metaphors remain key to inscriptions of leave-takings of image and mimesis. Mendelssohn's youthful musical aesthetic grew from a dual context of family life and community. In 1835, Mendelssohn moved to Leipzig as the director of the concerts of the Gewandhaus orchestra. The nineteenth-century antipathy to Mendelssohn was set by Wagner, but it was initiated by Marx, the theorist from whom Mendelssohn developed early ideas of programmatic music Mendelssohn's friend turned foe, Marx finally described Mendelssohn as a talent, but no genius. As a musical and civic institution, the Gewandhaus instantiates the triangle of music, commerce, and religious and civic devotion.