(Born at Hamburg, February 3, 1809;
died at Leipsic, November 4, 1847)
MENDELSSOHN in his maturity wrote his music as he looks in his picture, smiling and with a stickpin in his ruffled shirt. When at seventeen he wrote his overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, he was a romanticist. What might he not have accomplished if he had been poor and less respectable! He wrote this overture before he had been spoiled by flattery; before he became a composer of priggish formulas. Aubrey Beardsley pictured the later Mendelssohn in that forgotten magazine, the Savoy. There you see the man that was shocked by the resurrection of the nuns in "Robert the Devil", by Terlina undressing in Fra Diavolo, by Hugo's Ruy Blas, although he condescended to write an overture for it. The spotless Mendelssohn who delighted Queen Victoria and her spouse by playing the organ to them. But the overture to Shakespeare's comedy is from another Mendelssohn, the composer of "The Hebrides", portions of the Walpurgis Night, not the man of the oratorios and the sentimental Songs without Words.
i. Allegro vivace ii. Andante con moto iii. Con moto moderato iv. Saltarello: presto
How MUCH of Italy is there in this symphony of Mendelssohn? Suppose there were no tide. The last movement might easily be