Starring: Elizabeth Handley
Elizabeth Handley, musicologist, independent lecturer for The Arts Society/NADFAS (UK) and part-time lecturer, UCT
Felix Mendelssohn, one of the most popular composers of the nineteenth century Romantic era, was also one of the most phenomenal child prodigies the Western musical world has ever produced. His cheerful symphonies and piano concertos, his sublime violin concerto – one of the most significant in the repertoire – and choral works, are regular features in the concert hall. These and his numerous elegant and charming chamber and piano works are familiar to all music lovers the world over.
But there is also something of a paradox associated with this brilliant musician and gifted intellectual. He has suffered something of an ambivalent reputation during the past nearly two centuries because there are those authorities who deem his music rather “lightweight”, lacking in true heartfelt passion, and never reaching the emotional and intellectual depths of his contemporaries.
In this lecture, enriched with ample musical and visual illustrations, Mendelssohn’s life and music is explored, and viewers will be able to decide for themselves whether or not history has judged him unfairly.