Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy after Carl Jäger, about 1870 (Photo: archives Mendelssohn-Haus)
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847), who is himself inseparably linked with Leipzig, also had a formative influence on Protestant church music: the son of Jewish parents, he was still a child when he converted to Protestantism. His deep religious feelings had a decisive influence on his musical work: In addition to the “Reformation Symphony”, he also wrote the two outstanding oratorios “St. Paul” and “Elijah”. Mendelssohn is also renowned for his rediscovery of Johann Sebastian Bach, who after his death had fallen increasingly into obscurity. His works no longer fitted the spirit of the age. That all changed dramatically in 1829 when the 20-year-old Mendelssohn staged a performance of the St. Matthew Passion and ushered in the “Bach Renaissance”.
Tip: Mendelssohn’s former home on Goldschmidtstrasse today houses the only Mendelssohn Museum in the world. Visitors not only get a glimpse of the historic apartment, they can also enjoy a range of interactive exhibits on the composer’s life and work.