Mendelssohn: Elijah / Ozawa
Seiji Ozawa in conversation with Fergus McWilliam (00:17:44)
A year of anniversaries. With so many birthdays and remembrance days it’s hard to refrain from commemoration. Another musical virtuoso stands out beside Handel and Haydn: Felix Mendelssohn was born 200 years ago, on 3 February 1809. A “wunderkind” like Mozart, though not correspondingly chased around the world by his father. And what the child composed! His early string symphonies are ingenious, his piano pieces more than remarkable, his Psalms excellent. However, it was later on in life – how could it be otherwise – that Mendelssohn wrote his truly great works. Above all his symphonies and oratorios, which stood under the influence of his encounter with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel. Elijah is the masterpiece among these works, followed by St. Paul and the fragment Christus.