This valuable book considers the reception of the composer, pianist, organist and conductor Felix Mendelssohn in nineteenth-century England, and his influence on English musical culture. Despite the composer's immense popularity in the nation during his lifetime and in the decades following his death, this is the first book to deal exclusively with the subject of Mendelssohn in England. Mendelssohn's highly successful ten trips to Britain, between 1829 and 1847, are documented and discussed in detail, as are his relationships with English musicians and a variety of prominent figures. An introductory chapter describes the musical life of England (especially London) at the time of Mendelssohn's arrival and the last two chapters deal with the composer's posthumous reception, to the end of the Victorian era. Eatock reveals Mendelssohn as a catalyst for the expansion of English musical culture in the nineteenth century. In taking this position, the author challenges much of the extant literature on the subject and provides an engaging story that brings Mendelssohn and his English experiences to life.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Music in the metropolis, 1829; The first visit; Consolidation in the 1830s; Mendelssohn mania in the 1840s; Elijah and the end; ; Apotheosis; Fragmentation and legacy; Appendices; Select bibliography; Index.
Dr. Colin Timothy Eatock received his PhD in musicology from the University of Toronto. Currently, he lives in Toronto, where he is a lecturer, editor, composer and journalist. He frequently writes for Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper, and has also contributed to the New York Times and the Houston Chronicle, as well as such periodicals as The Strad, Opera, International Piano and Early Music America.
’...groundbreaking ... this fascinating study of Mendelssohn’s ties to England deepens our understanding of his work, and increases our appreciation of his accomplishments.’ The WholeNote ’This is a unique, fascinating, very well researched, well-written and most timely book of great interest primarily to British music lovers and secondly to the wider musical public.... a truly excellent book.’ International Record Review ’...the book will be useful to those interested in English musical life and Mendelssohn's role within it because it brings this information together. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.’ Choice ’Eatock's work is an excellent synthesis of hundreds of sources, primary and secondary, on the life and times of Mendelssohn in England. It is well written, and (for those who enjoy rich detail) an engaging and quick read.’ Victorian Studies ’... rich and colorful... The author is at his best in describing and assessing the complex fabric of Mendelssohn’s relationship with English opinion. He writes clearly and convincingly, and his conclusions are well supported.’ Journal of British Studies ’All in all, this is an extremely readable and useful book.’ Choir and Organ '... an excellent contribution to contemporary Mendelssohn studies. ... a sophisticated and well-rounded portrait of both Mendelssohn and English musical culture and society of the time.' Notes 'Amidst Eatock's careful contextualization of Mendelssohn's trips to England, the humanity, humility, and humour of the composer come to the fore, and this thoroughly researched and elegantly written volume is a fitting tribute to the composer on the bicentenary of his birth.' Music and Letters