Piano Music - Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy


1809 - 1847
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.


"Life and art are not two different things."

"It's not that music is too imprecise for words, but too precise."

"Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God."

"The essence of beauty is unity in variety."

"This is what I think art is and what I demand of it: that it pull everyone in, that it show one person another's most intimate thoughts and feelings, that it throw open the window of the soul."

"People usually complain that music is so ambiguous, and what they are supposed to think when they hear it is so unclear, while words are understood by everyone. But for me it is exactly the opposite...what the music I love expresses to me are thoughts not to indefinite for words, but rather too definite."

"I know perfectly well that no musician can make his thoughts or his talents different to what Heaven has made them; but I also know that if Heaven had given him good ones, he must also be able to develop them properly."

"I dislike nothing more than finding fault with a man's nature or talent; it only depresses and worries and does no good; one cannot add a cubit to one's stature, all striving and struggling are useless there, so one has to be silent about it, and let the responsibility rest with God."

"And do you agree with me, that the first condition of an artist should be to bear respect toward what is great, and to bow to it and acknowledge it and not attempt to extinguish great flames for the sake of making his own rushlight burn more brightly?"
Letter to Wilhelm Taubert, August 27, 1831

"And here we come to the vital distinction between the advocacy of temperance and the advocacy of prohibition. Temperance and self-control are convertible terms. Prohibition, or that which it implies, is the direct negation of the term self-control. In order to save the small percentage of men who are too weak to resist their animal desires, it aims to put chains on every man, the weak and the strong alike. And if this is proper in one respect, why not in all respects? Yet, what would one think of a proposition to keep all men locked up because a certain number have a propensity to steal?"

"No one can bar me from joyfully proceeding on what the great masters have left us; after all, to rediscover everything again, should be understood to be unfounded. But one should however proceed on merit, and not simply repeat wat was. All genius, sincere, deserves his place, even though maybe later in life."

Quotes by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy









Piano Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy


— Theme and Variations, D, c1820, ed. in R.L. Todd (WORKS: 1983)

— Four Little Pieces, c1820: G, g (canon), G, g (canon), ed. in R.L. Todd (WORKS: 1983)

— Andante (Minuet and Trio), F, 1820, 

— Piano piece, e, 1820, inc., 

— Andante, C, 1820, inc., 

— Largo (Fugue a 3), d, 1820, 

— Two pieces, untitled: f, d, 1820, 

— Adagio, D, 1820, 

— [Fantasy], b/d, 1820, 

— Six Little Pieces (Etudes), 1820, 

— Allegro, C, untitled, g, Andante, A, untitled, b, untitled, a, untitled e

— Largo-Allegro, c, 1820 

— Sonata, f, 1820, 

— [Fugue], d, 11 May 1820, 

— Sonata, a, 12 May 1820, 

— Presto, c, 1 July 1820, 

— Sonata, e, 13 July 1820, 

— Two studies, d, a, 28 Dec 1820, 

— Study, F, ?1820, inc., 

— Allegro, a, 5 Jan 1821

— Study, C, 30 March 1821, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)

Op. 105 Sonata, g, 18 Aug 1821 (1868); R xi/III

— Sonatina (Lento–Moderato), E, 13 Dec 1821, 

— Largo–Allegro di molto, c/C, ?1821–2, 

— Three Fugues, d, d, b, ?1822, 

— Fantasia (Adagio–Allegro), c/D, 19 Feb 1823, 

— Sonata, b, 27 Nov 1823, ed. R.L. Todd (New York, 1981)

— Capriccio, E/e, ? c1823–4, ded. L. Heidemann, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)

— Prestissimo, f, 19 Aug 1824, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)

— Fugue, g, 11 Sept 1824, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)

Op. 5 Capriccio, f♯, 23 July 1825 (Berlin, 1825); R xi/I

— Fugue, c♯, 5 Jan 1826, 

— Vivace, c, 29 Jan 1826, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)

— Andante and Canon, D, ? c Jan 1826, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)

Op. 6 Sonata, E, 22 March 1826 (Berlin, 1826); R xi/I

Op. 7 Sieben Charakterstücke (Berlin, 1827): e, 6 June 1826, b, 17 July 1824, D, A, 4 June 1826, A, e, E; R xi/I

— Fugue, E, 11 Sept 1826, ed. R.L. Todd (Cambridge, 1985)

Op. 119 Perpetuum mobile, C, 24 Nov 1826, ded. I. Moscheles (1873); R xi/III

Op. 15 Fantasia, E, on ‘The Last Rose of Summer’, ?1827 (London, 1830); R xi/I

Op. 106 Sonata, B, 31 May 1827 (1868); R xi/III

— Fugue, e, 16 June 1827, added to Prelude of 13 July 1841

— Piece, untitled, e, 24 Jan 1828, 

— Lied, E, 14 Nov 1828, for Fanny Mendelssohn, 

— Scherzo, b, 12 June 1829, pubd in Berliner allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, vi (1829); R xi/I

Op. 16 Trois fantaisies ou caprices (Vienna, 1831): a, 4 Sept 1829, e, 13 Nov 1829, E, ‘Am Bache’, 4 Sept 1829; R xi/I

— Andante con moto, A, 3 June 1830, ded. O. von Goethe, ed. J. Draheim (Wiesbaden, 1984)

— Andante, A, 13 June 1830, 

Op. 14 Rondo capriccioso, E, 13 June 1830 (London, 1830); early version, étude, 4 Jan 1828, 

Op. 19b Lieder ohne Worte, i (Bonn, 1833), orig. pubd as Original Melodies for the Pianoforte (London, 1832): E, a, 11 Dec 1830, ‘Jägerlied’, A, A, 14 Sept 1829, f♯, Venetianisches Gondellied, g, 16 Oct 1830; R xi/IV

— Walzer, D, Trio, B, ? c Aug 1831, 

— Con moto, A, 3 Nov 1831, 

— Cadenza for Mozart's Piano Concerto K365/316a, 1 June 1832 (auction catalogue, London, May 1977); see also PIANO SOLO [cadenza, 1840]

Op. 28 Fantasia (Sonate écossaise), f♯, early version ? 1828–9, 29 Jan 1833 (Bonn, 1834); R xi/I

— Two Musical Sketches: Andante cantabile, B, c April–Aug 1833, Presto agitato, g, in Musical Gems for 1834 (London, 1833); R xi/III

Op. 30 Lieder ohne Worte, ii (Bonn, 1835): E, b, 26 June 1830, 2nd version 30 Sept 1830, E, b, 30 Jan 1834, D, 12 Dec 1833, Venetianisches Gondellied, f♯; R xi/IV

Op. 33 Trois caprices (1836): a, 9 April 1834, E, 12 Sept 1835, b, 25 July 1833; R xi/II

— Scherzo a capriccio, f♯, 29 Oct 1835, pubd in L'album des pianistes (Paris, 1836); R xi/1

— Etude (Praeludium), f, 13 March 1836, pubd in I. Moscheles and F.-J. Fétis's Méthode des méthodes de piano (Paris and Berlin, 1840/R, Eng. trans., 1841); R xi/I

Op. 104b Three Studies (1868): b, 9 June 1836, F, 21 April 1834, a; R xi/III

Op. 117 Allegro, e, ? June – July 1836, ed. (London, 1859), ? ded. F.W. Benecke; R xi/III

— Lied, f♯, 16 Oct 1836, arr. 2vv, pf as Herbstlied op.63 no.4

Op. 104a Three Preludes (1868): B, 9 Dec 1836, b, 12 Oct 1836, D, 27 Nov 1836; R xi/III

Op. 35 Six Preludes and Fugues, 9 Jan 1837 (1837): e/E, prelude 1835–6, fugue 16 June 1827; D, prelude 6 Dec 1836, fugue c 11 Jan 1835 (‘fughetta’ for org); b, prelude 8 Dec 1836, fugue 21 Dec 1832; A, prelude 7 Oct 1836, fugue 6 Jan 1835; f, prelude 19 Nov 1836, fugue 3 Dec 1834; B, prelude 3 Jan 1837, fugue 27 Nov 1836; R xi/II

Op. 38 Lieder ohne Worte, iii (Bonn, 1837): E, c ? Feb - April 1837, c, 29 March 1836, E, 2 Jan 1835, A, before 9 Sept 1836, a, 5 April 1837, Duetto, A, 27 June 1836; R xi/IV

— Gondellied (Barcarole), A, 5 Feb 1837, pubd as suppl. to NZM, xiv (1841), July; R xi/I

— Allegretto, A, 22 April 1837, pubd in Jede Woche Musik (29 Oct 1927), facs. in J. Petitpierre, H1937

Op. 118 Capriccio, E, 11 July 1837 (1872); R xi/III

— Andante cantabile and Presto agitato, B, 22 June 1838, pubd in Album musical 1839 (1838); R xi/I

— Sonata, G, c1839–?1841, inc., GB-Ob*, facs. in Todd, G1991

— Cadenza for Mozart Piano Concerto K365/316a, 30 Jan 1840, GB-LEbc*, see also PIANO SOLO [cadenza, 1932]

Op. 53 Lieder ohne Worte, iv (Bonn, 1841): A, 28 Feb 1839, E, 24 Feb 1835, Gondellied, g, 14 March 1839, Abendlied, F, 1 May 1841, Volkslied, a, 30 April 1841, A, 1 May 1841; R xi/IV

Op. 54 Variations sérieuses, d, 4 June 1841, pubd in Album-Beethoven (Vienna, 1841); R xi/II

— Prelude and Fugue, e, pubd in Notre temps: Album pour 1842 (Mainz, 1841/2): prelude 13 July 1841, added to fugue of 16 June 1827; R xi/III

Op. 82 Variations, E, 25 July 1841 (1850); R xi/II

Op. 83 Variations, B, c July 1841 (1850); R xi/II; see also PIANO DUET [op.83a]

— Andante, E, c June 1842, orig. part of op.72, ed. H.O. Hieckel (Munich, 1969)

— Sostenuto, F, c June 1842, orig. part of op.72, 

Op. 72 Sechs Kinderstücke (‘Christmas Pieces’) (London, 1847); G, 24 June 1842, E, G, 21 June 1842, D, g, F; R xi/II; see also Andante, E, Sostenuto, F

— Bärentanz, F, 11 July 1842, for Hilda Benecke, facs. in MT, l (1909), 88

— Lied [ohne Worte], D, c19 Jan 1843, inc., 

— Lied [ohne Worte], D, Allegro assai, 18 March 1843, 

Op. 62 Lieder ohne Worte, v (Bonn, 1844): G, 12 Jan 1844, B, 29 July 1843, ‘Trauermarsch’, e, 19 Jan 1843, G, Venetianisches Gondellied, a, 24 Jan 1841, ‘Frühlingslied’, A, 1 June 1842; R xi/IV; see also PIANO DUET

— Lied ohne Worte (Allegro marcato alla marcia), d, 12 Dec 1844, 2nd version, Reiterlied, 18 Dec 1846; ed. E. Walker (London, 1947)

Op. 67 Lieder ohne Worte, vi (Bonn, 1845): E, 29 July 1843, f♯, 5 April 1839, 2nd version 3 May 1845, B♭, 23 Nov ?1844, ‘Spinnerlied’, C, 5 May 1845, b, 5 Jan 1844, E, 29 April 1841; R xi/IV, see also PIANO DUET

Op. 85 Lieder ohne Worte, vii (Bonn, 1851): F, a, 9 June 1834, E, 19 Aug 1835, D, 6 May 1845, A, 7 May 1845, B, 1 May 1841; R xi/IV

Op. 102 Lieder ohne Worte, viii (Bonn, 1868): e, 1 June 1842, D, 11 May 1845, ‘Kinderstück’, C, 12 Dec 1845, g, ? 4 Feb 1841, ‘Kinderstück’, A, 12 Dec 1845, C; R xi/IV

— Lied [ohne Worte] (Allegro molto), E, inc., 

— Fugue, E, Andante, inc., 

— Andante sostenuto, E, inc., 

— Allegretto, a, 

— Lied ohne Worte, F, ded. Doris Loewe, see Kahn, I(i)1923–4

— Galloppade, lost [Liepmannssohn auction catalogue, 1930]

— Fugue, e, inc., 

— Allegro vivace, f, 

— Allegro moderato, E, inc., Leipzig, Stadtarchiv Gewandhaus*


Works for Piano duet



— Fantasia, d/D, 15 March 1824, 

Op. 92 Allegro brilliant, A, 23 March 1841, version with Andante slow introduction (Duet), 26 March 1841, perf. Leipzig 31 March 1841, F-Pn* (1851), ed. E.-G. Heinemann (Munich, 1994); R x

Op. 83a Variations, B, 10 Feb 1844, perf. London, 25 June 1844 (1850), based on op.83 for pf solo; R x

— Seven Lieder ohne Worte, arr. of op.62 nos.1-6 and op.67 no.1, 9 June 1844, ded. Prince Albert, ed. R. Langley (Kassel, 1982)

— Andante, g


Works for Two pianos



— Sonata, D, ? c Nov 1819, ed. J. Draheim (Wiesbaden, 1997) [attrib. Mendelssohn]

— Sonata movement, g, 21 Feb ? 1820, J. Draheim (Wiesbaden, 1997) [attrib. Mendelssohn]

— Variations brillantes on march from C.M. von Weber's Preciosa, c, c April 1833, perf. London, 1 May 1833, collab. I. Moscheles, pubd as Moscheles's op.87b (1833), version with orch, 1849