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Although Felix Mendelssohn (1 809-1847) was surrounded by Romantic influences during his youth, the inspiration for his music was essentially Classical and his works embody the imprint of Bach, Handel and Mozart. Mendelssohn's talent for using literary and nonmusical images to create beautiful music made him one of the best-loved composers of his day. He believed that ideas inspired by poetry and emotions could be transformed into music and be made to express tangible experiences of art, nature, religion and society. His Songs without Words exemplifies this conviction and contains some of the most alluring and poetic instrumental music ever written.
Piano pieces dominate Mendelssohn's catalog of instrumental works, and his Songs without Words reflects the sunniest qualities of his spontaneity and inventiveness. This teaching- and performance- oriented edition has been carefully prepared and edited by Maurice Hinson and presents the pieces in the same sequence as published between 1832 and 1868. Dr. Hinson has also included helpful practice suggestions, and stylistic and interpretive guidelines, making Alfred's edition of Mendelssohn's Songs without Words the most practical and attractive one available.
Mendelssohn was a man of many talents. In addition to composing, performing, teaching and pursuing musical research, he also traveled widely, was conversant with four languages and painted. The watercolor presented on the cover of this Mendelssohn edition was painted by him in 1847, and depicts the small town of Thun in the German-speaking section of Switzerland. Mendelssohn often visited Thun as a retreat from his hectic schedule.
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