Catapulting into Classical

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Mendelssohn Autograph Sketches May Yield New Insights

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Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Earlier this year the Berlin State Library acquired a Felix Mendelssohn autograph from a private collection.  The pages (4 pages, 8 sides) contain sketches of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and his composition Die erste Walpurgisnacht.

The acquisition is significant because researchers had not previously had access to this material, which sheds light on the early stage of the composition process of these works.

You can see a sample of the Mendelssohn manuscript at the Berlin State Library website (click on image for a larger view).

Here is a performance of Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring pianist Ilya Yakushev.  Mendelssohn himself played at the piece’s debut.

Here you can a full performance of Die erste Walpurgisnacht.

References

Berlin State Library press release on Mendelssohn acquisition at http://staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/aktuelles/presse-news/detail/article/2016-01-26-2137/

Program notes on Piano Concerto No. 1 http://redwoodsymphony.org/history/prognotes.aspx?ID=177

Barenreiter’s description of its annotated score of Die erste Walpurgisnacht at http://www.takte-online.de/en/orchestra/detail/browse/11/artikel/mendelssohns-die-erste-walpurgisnacht-in-kritischer-neuedition/index.htm?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=549&cHash=0fd5be150a4847b112725f7dd9bf84f4

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Image attribution: Lithograph of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Felix_Mendelssohn-Bartholdy_(AMZ_1837).png

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