Chapter 54 Leipzig and the Gewandhaus:Felix Mendelssohn and the Schumanns
The German World After 1815After the fall of Napoleon in1814, a hodge-podge of 39German states emerged,and these were loosely alliedinto a GermanConfederation.The two most powerful landswere Prussia to the northeastand the sprawling AustrianEmpire to the southeast.Wedged between them was thesmall Kingdom of Saxony,with its capital in Dresden andits intellectual center inLeipzig.Throughout the 19th century,Saxony was fertile soil forthe raising of greatcomposers.
The Life of Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847)• 1809 - Mendelssohn born in Hamburg to a wealthy banking family; grows up in Berlin.• 1816 - converts to Christianity and takes the additional name Bartholdy.• 1829 - conducts parts of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Berlin, beginning the “Bach Revival.”• 1833 - conductor of the orchestra in Düsseldorf.• 1835-47 - conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig.• 1842 - active in musical life of Berlin, at the invitation of the King of Prussia.• 1843 - helps to found and direct the Leipzig Conservatory.• 1847 - dies in Leipzig, only months after the death of his sister Fanny.
Principal Compositions by Felix Mendelssohn• Orchestra: 12 early string symphonies, 5 numbered symphonies ; concertos (2 for piano, 1 for violin)• Piano: character pieces (including “Songs Without Words”), sonatas, variations, organ music• Chamber music: string quartets, trios, quintets, sextets, octet; instrumental sonatas• Chorus: oratorios (St. Paul, Elijah), cantatas, music for the church• Songs: over 100
Felix Mendelssohn, Trio in D Minor, Op. 49, 1839, movement 1Sonata form
The Life of Robert Schumann (1810–1856)• 1810 born in the Saxon village of Zwickau, son of a book dealer• 1828 briefly studies law at the University in Leipzig and in Heidelberg• 1830 returns to Leipzig to study piano with Friedrich Wieck• 1833 founds the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal of Music)• 1840 marries Clara Wieck after a stormy courtship• 1844 moves to Dresden, later to Düsseldorf• 1854 confined to mental institution in Endenich (near Bonn)• 1856 dies in Endenich
The Principal Compositions of Robert Schumann• Orchestra: symphonies (4); concertos (piano, cello, violin); concert overtures• Chamber music: string quartets (3), piano trios, music with piano; instrumental sonatas• Piano: cycles of character pieces including – Carnival – Papillons – Fantasiestücke – Kinderscenen• Songs: include the cycles – Dichterliebe – Frauenliebe- und leben – Myrthen
Robert Schumann, Symphony No. 1 in Bb Major (“Spring”), 1841, movement 2 ( Larghetto )Rondo form
The Principal Compositions of Clara Schumann• Orchestra: Piano Concerto in A Minor• Chamber music : Piano Trio in G minor• Piano: character pieces, variations• Songs: about 25
Clara Schumann, “Liebst du um Schönheit,” 1841. Text by Friedrich RückertVaried strophic form