Felix Mendelssohn, Sechs Lieder (Six Songs) Op. 59
The Shedd Choral Society will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s “Sechs Lieder (Six Songs) Op. 59”
1 Im Grünen (“In The Countryside”)
2 Frühzeitiger Frühling (“Early Spring”)
3 Abschied vom Wald (“Farewell to the Forest”)
4 Die Nachtigall (“The Nightingale”)
5 Ruhetal (“Resting Valley”)
6 Jagdlied (“The Hunter”)
Felix Mendelssohn was born on February 3, 1809, in Hamburg, Germany. At age 9, he made his public debut in Berlin. In 1819, he joined the Singakademie music academy and began composing non-stop. At Singakademie, he also became a conductor, but continued to compose prolifically. Mendelssohn founded the Leipzig Conservatory of Music in 1843. He died on November 4, 1847, in Leipzig at the age of 38.
During Mendelssohn’s short lifetime he displayed an obvious affinity for nature and the great outdoors, and expressed it in romantic choral partsongs. As the 19th century was also the golden age of German poetry, the composer often used verses by some of the leading poets of his day including Heinrich Heine and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The songs are brief, yet within them Mendelssohn creates a small world of vivid images. As in Die Nachtigall (The Nightingale), Op.59, No.4, Mendelssohn frequently uses a canon or roundelay, moving the verse refrain around the chorus for an effect both lovely and fun.