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Happy Birthday, Mr. Mendelssohn

Jayson Dobney, Associate Curator and Administrator, Department of Musical Instruments

Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014

Carl Bechstein, Grand Piano

Carl Bechstein (German, 1826–1900). Grand piano, ca. 1893. Wood, metal, various materials. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Schonberger Family Foundation, 1993 (1993.292)

«February 3 marks the birthday of nineteenth-century German composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847). A prolific composer, Mendelssohn wrote pieces for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and solo piano.»

One of his most popular piano works is his Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14, written in 1824 at the age of fifteen. In 1998 pianist Ruth Laredo recorded this piece at the Met on the Museum's grand piano by Carl Bechstein, built in Berlin around 1893. Ms. Laredo's performance is available on Such Good Friends, along with solo piano works of Robert and Clara Schumann, and Johannes Brahms.

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Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (German, 1809–1847). Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14. Ruth Laredo, pianist. Recorded at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998

Department(s): Musical Instruments
Tag(s): Mendelssohn, piano

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About the Author

Jayson Dobney is an associate curator and administrator in the Department of Musical Instruments.

About this Blog

The Museum's collection of musical instruments includes approximately five thousand examples from six continents and the Pacific Islands, dating from about 300 B.C. to the present. It illustrates the development of musical instruments from all cultures and eras. On this blog, curators and guests will share information about this extraordinary collection, its storied history, the department's public activities, and some of the audio and video recordings from our archives.