Symphony No. 1 (Mendelssohn)

The Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op 11 (MWV N 13 ) by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy is a romantic symphony in four movements. The performance lasts about 30 minutes.

Historical Background

The Symphony was founded in 1824. The work of the 15 - year-old composer still stands in the tradition of the twelve string symphonies of his youth. Mendelssohn described the symphony as well as his first No. 13, counted them but then later as his first " full-fledged " Symphony, not least because the first use of the packed orchestra of Beethoven's day with wind instruments.

The first performance probably took place at a private concert of Mendelssohn's sister Fanny birthday on 14 November 1824. The first public performance was then carried out on February 1, 1827 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus under the direction of Johann Philipp Christian Schulz. Mendelssohn dedicated the work subsequently the Royal Philharmonic Society, London. For the English premiere on 25 Mail 1829 in London Mendelssohn replaced the 3rd set by the Scherzo from his Octet, Op 20, 1830 As of press time, however, he presented the original version restored.


Two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings.


Description of the work

The work is still clearly committed to the model of the symphonies of Viennese Classicism. The individual traits have long been too little appreciated in the reception of the work over the notes of Beethoven 's 5th Symphony and especially Haydn's 95th Symphony.

The first movement in sonata form is in C minor, side set in E Flat Major. Development and recapitulation are shortened, but the detailed coda to speak, represents a second implementation, shows a slope in a deferred Vierteiligkeit, which also appears in later works at Mendelssohn again.

The second sentence in E flat major is a mixture of truncated sonata and rondo Represents the dominant main theme in his company constantly varies and is illuminated so in every possible shade.

The Minuet in C minor has echoes on to the from Mozart's G minor Symphony, K. 550. The trio section has more individual traits, but the return line to the minuet uses to Beethoven's 5th Symphony.

The final movement is a sonata movement in C minor, which is thematically related to the main theme of the first movement. The secondary theme is first presented as pizzicato strings and then repeated accompanying a lyrical melody of the clarinet. The development section opens into an elaborate fugue.