Mendelssohn: The Hebrides and Other Overtures

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 24, 1993 - Music - 121 pages
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The concert overtures A Midsummer Nights Dream, Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, and The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave), conceived by Mendelssohn before the age of twenty, have ranked amongst the most enduring of the nineteenth-century orchestral repertoire. R. Larry Todd offers a historical, stylistic, and analytical guide to these three remarkable works which secured for Mendelssohn no small measure of his fame. After placing the overtures in the context of Mendelssohn’s astonishing compositional development during the 1820s, the volume disentangles the complex history of their creation and considers in turn their style and formal structure, their contents as programme music, aspects of their orchestration and their reception and influence. All this is supported by a wealth of primary documents, including Mendelssohn’s correspondence, memoirs of his friends, and nineteenth-century critical reviews.
 

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Contents

Background
1
Genesis
11
Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage 182835
20
The Hebrides Fingals Cave 182935
26
Musical influences
38
A Midsummer Nights Dream
39
Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
44
The Hebrides
47
The Hebrides
64
The overtures as programmatic music
69
A Midsummer Nights Dream
71
Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
74
The Hebrides
78
Some thoughts on Mendelssohns orchestration
84
Influence and reception of the overtures
89
Notes
105

Formal considerations a synoptic overview
52
A Midsummer Nights Dream
53
Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
58

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