I have been very moved, impressed and grateful to visit the Mendelssohn museum in Leipzig/Germany, the sole surviving residence of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and his last.
We read biographies of musicians to learn about their lives or watch a documentary. But to visit the places they have really lived in is very different. The story comes alive, you begin to feel the spirit of a genius.
You reach Mendelssohn’s apartment via the historic staircase which Mendelssohn personally used. In awe I walked up the stairs imagining the composer being around. Being a singer, I love especially his vocal music and felt very grateful being able to visit the birthplace of outstanding works of music history. You can see Mendelssohn’s study with original furniture where he composed his famous oratorio Elias (Elijah).
Did you know that Mendelssohn was also a very skilled painter? I didn’t. He received drawing lessons as a child and during his many journeys through Europe he captured many scenes and impressions in his sketch- books which still exist today. He loved hikes in the Alps and painted lots of mountain scenes.
A fun part of my museum visit was the effectorium, were I conducted one of my favorite pieces (Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen). There is a multimedia system which allows you to choose a popular piece written by Mendelssohn. You see the partitura on a screen and conduct with a baton a digital orchestra or choir.
And now the great thing:
There is a new App developed as a result of the co-operation between Mendelssohn House Leipzig and Associazione Mendelssohn Italia (AMI) where you can find the most complete online information about the composer for free.
Click here to get this app.
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