Can you remember when you were a teenager? I think I would be safe to say not many of you were composing chamber music at that age.
Well, the 16 year old Felix Mendelssohn was not only composing music at that age but he composed one of the greatest and most beloved chamber music pieces ever composed – His Octet in E flat Major. Mendelssohn’s original score is for a double string quartet with four violins and a pair of violas and cellos.
Felix Mendelssohn [1809 -1847]
The German born virtuoso pianist was one of the great composers of the early Romantic Era of music. If you had to limit yourself to one word to describe Mendelssohn’s compositions, I believe that word would be melodic. His compositions contained some of the most beautiful melodies ever composed. Despite his short lifetime of only 38 years, the world has been blessed by this musical genius prolific number of compositions in almost all genres of classical music.
Mendelssohn’s Octet was scored in E Flat Major, with four movements: 1. Allegro molto; 2. Andante; 3. Scherzo; and 4. Molto allegro e vivace.
The first movement, with its mesmerizing theme, is one of my most favorite movements of any chamber music piece.
Please turn up the volume and enjoy this great classical music teenage brilliance.
Note: This great You Tube version is from the Heifetz International Music Institute and is the original 1825 version composed by Mendelssohn. Thank you to the Heifetz International Music Institute You Tube site for this wonderful video!
Felix Mendelssohn: Octet in E-Flat Major: