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The last movement caused him considerable anguish; he always talked about plans to revise it. The German poet Goethe suggested that Mendelssohn go to Italy for the next part of his travels. Beginning in May , he spent about a year and a half there. In Italy, he sketched his sunny Piano Concerto No.
The first performance, given on May 13, , in London, was followed by several other performances in London, too, all of them successful with knowledgeable musicians and with audiences; nevertheless, Mendelssohn always was unhappy with this work and felt that both the first and last movements needed to be completely rewritten. In the spring of , this best loved of all the Mendelssohn symphonies was finally published.
Symphony No.4, Op.90 (Mendelssohn, Felix)
Joining principles of classicism and romanticism, it has a special place in the 19th century canon. The Italian Symphony , a work of warm harmonies and engaging melodies, is Mendelssohn's most classically styled piece, following in the tradition of Haydn and Mozart. Mendelssohn remarked that all of Italy is contained in this work: its people, its landscapes and its art. The movement opens with a loud string pizzicato followed by pulsating rhythm in the woodwinds before the violins announce the sunny and spirited first theme.
Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90, "Italian"
This movement has three themes. Following the initial violin subject comes a more leisurely clarinet theme, and then the third theme, which Mendelssohn treats fugally. It is nostalgic and elegiac in character and begins with counterpoint in two voices. The third movement, an elegant, smooth, flowing Con moto moderato, could be called a minuet in everything but name; it contains an ingratiating middle section, and the trio is particularly beautiful. The third movement Con moto moderato is really a minuet with Trio, although Mendelssohn didn't say so explicitly.
The minuet section looks back to the days of Haydn and Mozart with a touch of nostalgia. The Trio, with its Romantic horn calls and puckish violin-and-flute theme, is more distinctly Mendelssohnian. After the recapitulation of the minuet, the Trio theme is hinted at once more, before the movement ends suddenly in a hushed pianissimo. The Presto finale is titled Saltarello, after a quick folk dance of Southern Italy. Of its two main melodies, the first one is indeed a bouncing saltarello; the other, however, is a ceaselessly running tarantella a different kind of Italian folk dance. Whether saltarello or tarantella, however, the dance character dominates the entire finale.
It is only near the end that a more lyrical, slower-moving motif appears, but it is soon swept up in the returning dance rhythms. The John F. Box Office Hours: Mon. Search: close. Search Search Gift Shop cart Cart. Log In Log In. Live Streaming. Preview Our Events. Mo Willems: Artist-in-Residence.
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