Speaking of Things Wagner Hated…


Due to Wagner’s disgusting anti-Semitic nonsense, Felix Mendelssohn’s music has been successfully repressed as “true” German music. It’s truly sad that Mendelssohn is not on the pedestal with the rest of the great ones in our popular imagination, despite his early death at 38. Here’s the second movement from his late string quartet to partially restore the injustice of the public’s fickle tastes:

Compare/Contrast exercise:

5 thoughts on “Speaking of Things Wagner Hated…

  1. I’m not sure if this is apocryphal or not, but apparently when Hitler’s troops captured Vienna, they were ordered to destroy a statue of Mendolssohn, but got confused and knocked down one of Wagner instead!

  2. I’ve never thought about Mendelssohn that much, although I’ve always loved Balanchine’s choreography to ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and the music is great. B. also did a piece ‘Scotch Symphony’, based on that piece, which I just read was made about 13 years after Mendelssohn visited Scotland. I don’t care that much for this piece (ballet or music), but most Balanchine-lovers like it. Lots of men in kilts, which I never much like except the Irish red-faced bagpipers in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (they always look like they hate wearing them). Interesting that Wagner and Mendelssohn frame most traditional weddings. Now I recall that when I first played ballet classes (I’ve never done that much of it, I guess 3 different teachers, I just improvised later on), I used the ‘Songs Without Words’ all the time. And there’s that Violin Concerto that’s always good for the Wunderkinds. I’ll listen to your YouTubes in the next couple of days. Thanks.

  3. Oh yes, the Variations Serieuses, the most famous Mendelssohn solo piano work besides the Songs Without Words. Well, that is substantial, although I haven’t hear VS for many years, had forgotten it. Worst thing I now learn is that I didn’t realize he had died that ‘early composer’s death’, like Schubert, Mozart and Chopin, with Schumann not that old either.

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