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Happy Birthday, Mr. Mendelssohn

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

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