Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, on his return journey from Scotland in late summer 1829, spent a few sublimely beautiful days with the Taylor family in Wales. The “Trois Fantaisies ou Caprices op. 16” for piano that he wrote there were originally to have been called “Erinnerungen” [Memories], since each was dedicated to one of the three daughters of this English family.
The hand-signed autographs are extant, and – along with several other manuscripts and first editions – serve as the basis for this Urtext edition. The extensive preface, which includes quotations from the composer’s letters, lets the reader glimpse the magical atmosphere of the Welsh sojourn, and convey how a “troika of melodious, rich and not overly difficult treasures came to be written”, as the music trade press has written concerning Henle’s edition.
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- Three Fantasies or Cappriccios op. 16
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy composed his three piano pieces op. 16 in the late summer of 1829 while he was visiting the Taylor family in Coed Du near Holywell. He had become acquainted with the family in London during his tour of England and Scotland. The connection was established by Sarah Austin, the sister of the head of the family, John Taylor. She had befriended … more
About the composer
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
A German composer, conductor, pianist, and organist who already numbered among the most important composers in Europe during his lifetime. While still young he found a unique tonal language. Reflected in his oeuvre, which spans all genres, are the contradictory tendencies of the age – Classicism and Romanticism. His endeavors over the course his life to perform the works of Johann Sebastian Bach led to a “rediscovery” of that composer which continues unabated. His intensive engagement with Bach and his counterpoint influenced his own compositional technique.
|1809||Born into a wealthy banker’s family in Hamburg on February 3. Escape to Berlin with his parents in 1811. First musical instruction from his mother.|
|1819||He becomes a pupil of Carl Friedrich Zelter.|
|1820||Joins the Sing-Akademie in Berlin.|
|1821–23||Twelve sinfonias for strings.|
|1825||String Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20.|
|1826||Overture to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Op. 21|
|1827||Begins studies at the University of Berlin.|
|1829||Revival of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Berlin on March 11 and 21. Travels to England and Scotland.|
|1829–30||“Reformation” Symphony in D minor, [Op. 107], with inclusion of the choral “Ein feste Burg“ (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.)|
|1830–32||Extended travels, including to Italy and France. Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 25; Overture in B minor, Op. 26, “The Hebrides, or Fingal’s Cave” (1829–30).|
|1833||Music director in Düsseldorf. “Italian” Symphony in A major, Op. 90 (1830–33).|
|1835||Director of the Gewandhaus concerts in Leipzig.|
|1836||Premiere in Düsseldorf of his oratorio “St. Paul: Oratorio on Words of the Holy Bible,” Op. 36.|
|1838-44||Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64.|
|1840||Composition of “Hymn of Praise, a Symphony-Cantata on Words of the Holy Bible,” Op. 52.|
|1841||Berlin, in the service of the Prussian king. “Variations sérieuses” in D minor, Op. 54, for piano.|
|1842||Completion of Symphony No. 3 (“Scottish”) in A minor, Op. 56, with a songlike opening.|
|1843||Incidental music to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Op. 61. Director of the newly founded Leipzig Conservatory.|
|1846||Premiere of his oratorio “Elijah,” Op. 70, in Birmingham.|
|1847||String Quartet in F minor, [Op. 80]. Death in Leipzig on November 4.|
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Die drei seiner "besten Clavierstücke" sind bei Henle in München als Urtext-Ausgabe mit großzügigem Kritischen Bericht, vierseitigem Vorwort und auf schönem, chamoisfarbenen Papier gedruckt, erschienen.