Mendelssohn — Gippsland Symphony Orchestra

31 Jul 2:00pm

Felix Mendelssohn rightly takes his place in the pantheon of classical music greats; a virtuosic instrumentalist and composer, and clearly one of the most important German composers of all time. His music faultlessly combines the expressive elements of Romantic music with the clarity of classical music. He was responsible for the re-emergence of interest in the music of J.S. Bach, a legacy beyond comprehension to musicians around the world. Imagine a world without Bach?

Mendelssohn was a prolific composer and during his short life he composed significant works in all styles, particularly his symphonies and overtures. He wrote two oratorios, Elijah and St Paul and many songs and a collection of string symphonies. His compositions are perfectly reflecting the artistic attitude of his time, clarity, balance, and discipline.

Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Opus 21
Mendelssohn adored the writing of Shakespeare and the Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream was written when he was 17 years old. He orchestrated and this demonstrated the precocious talent he had. The overture perfectly captures the works of faires, Oberon, Tatiana, and the myriad of characters that Shakespeare created.

Symphony No. 4 in A Major, op. 90 (“Italian”)
He toured extensively and on a visit to Italy he went to Rome, Naples, Venice and Florence and this trip had an impression on him. He spoke with great enthusiasm about his trip and took inspiration and stimulation from his time in Italy. In a letter he wrote to his sister he spoke effusively of the Symphony No 4 as the “happiest piece I have ever written”. He dubbed this symphony the Italian and on its premiere performance received great acclaim and is considered by many as being the ‘perfect’ symphony. Ironically, it was in 1851 that it was published for the first time, some four years after his death.

String Symphonies
Mendelssohn wrote thirteen string symphonies between 1821 and 1823 (age 12 to 14) The symphonies are mirrors to the masterworks of Haydn, J.C. Bach, C.P.E Bach and Mozart. These symphonies are mature beyond the young years of the composer and point to the brilliance of his later symphonic works, in these work he experimented with three, four and five movement forms and No 10 and 13 are in one continuous movement. A form he adopted for the famous Violin Concerto.


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Adult Senior Member Concession Child U15
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Show times
2:00pm, Sunday 31 July 2022
John Leslie Theatre 100 Foster Street Sale, 3850
Run time
2 hours, including interval
Presented by
Gippsland Symphony Orchestra