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Mendelssohn the Prodigy
Part of: Chamber Music Series
Felix Mendelssohn was already recognized as a child prodigy when he composed his Octet for Strings, one his best known and most frequently performed works, at the age of 16. In this program, the Octet for Strings is paired with another work composed in the early years of Mendelssohn’s prolific career, the rarely heard Violin Concerto in D Minor. Written when Mendelssohn was only 13, the obscure work was “rediscovered” in the early 1950s when the manuscript was presented by the Mendelssohn family to Yehudi Menuhin, who quickly published and recorded the work. The Violin Concerto No. 1 in D minor is firmly rooted in the three-movement Classical concerto form, beginning with an anxious, dramatic opening Allegro movement balanced by the warmth of the second Andante movement and the forward-thrust of the Allegro finale. Together, the Octet for Strings and the Violin Concerto No. 1 in D minor showcase the depth of the young Mendelssohn’s extraordinary talent. This performance is part of the Richard Gilder Chamber Music Series.
Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Minor
Octet for Strings in E-flat major, Op. 20