Share this Page URL

Part: 6 Picture Perfect > Term Paper #1 - Pg. 345

Sample Term Papers 345 This also led to a great revival of Bach's music, which was one the greatest achievements in musical history. This event ushered in the modern cultivation of Bach and its success further inspired Men- delssohn to use Bach's work as a model for his own. Without Bach's work as his model, or Zelter to teach him the basics of it, Mendelssohn's music would have been radically different from what we know today. But then again, without Mendelssohn, Zel- ter's role in history would have been much smaller, and Bach's greater works may have been lost to time. So, in effect, this relationship was beneficial to all of them, not just Mendelssohn himself. Felix Mendelssohn is classified as a Romantic composer, but this classification only fits his works somewhat. While Mendelssohn's Romantic influences and his own comments about his music would make him and Romantic, his affiliations with the eighteenth century, especially the music of Mozart, make him a neo-classicist more than anything else ( Grove Dictionary 143). According to the Encyclopedia Britannica , the Romantic period in music took place from around 1800 to around 1910. It was "most markedly characterized by emphasis on the expression of indi- vidualized or subjective emotion, as well as by a sense of the transcendental, exotic, mythical, and supernatural" (vol. VIII: 655). In part, Mendelssohn is called a Romantic composer because he lived during this period. In addition, some of his compositions also have some very strong literary influences. For example, the Grove Dictionary points out a definite connection between Mendelssohn's Octet and lines from the Walpurgisnacht scene in the first part of Goethe's Faust (143). Mendelssohn's work shows some even stronger Romantic influences. These other influences include Schlegel's Shakespeare trans- lations, Goethe's other poetry, and, mostly in the Italian Symphony, art and nature. Also the lieder and choruses of the Italian Symphony show the influence of emotions from personal human rela- tionships ( Grove Dictionary 143). Mendelssohn himself stated that the Elijah expressed his feelings of acquiescence and strong protest after his disappointments in Berlin. This is an "expression of