Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix
Complete Letters in 12 Volumes
Edition no.
BVK 2300
Volume / Series
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Sämtliche Briefe in 12 Bänden
Loos, Helmut / Seidel, Wilhelm / Appold, Juliette / Morgenstern, Anja / Baumgart-Streibert, Juliane / Schiwietz, Lucian / Kauba, Thomas / Grönke, Kadja / Staub, Alexander / Jach, Ingrid / Leßmann, Benedikt / Tomkovic, Susanne / Seifert, Wolfgang / Koop, Christoph / Mün
Product format
Book, CD-ROM
Edition includes 12 volumes of letters and a CD-ROM (the complete edition of the printed volumes in a pdf format)
Pages / Format
9651 S. - 23,7 x 16,5 cm
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy as letter-writer: at the heart of 19th century European culture

As one of the most important letter-writers of the 19th century, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy maintained an extensive correspondence. With great style and eloquence he wrote letters to friends and family, letters from his travels and he also wrote to leading composers, musicians, artists as well as publishers. He corresponded with famous contemporaries such as Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner as well as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Carl Friedrich Zelter and Alexander von Humboldt.

The correspondence begins in 1816 and ends in 1847 with the composer’s death. These letters are invaluable documents shedding light not only on the genesis, publication and revision of his musical works, but also on a period when relations between Christians and Jews still had a chance to become harmonious, as Moses Mendelssohn, the imminent scholar and grandfather of the composer had advocated.

This edition will therefore be of great interest far beyond the circles of musicologists and music specialists. It will appeal to those who are interested in the history of culture and ideas and to those who perceive Mendelssohn and his family as representatives of a unique, diverse cultural epoch.

The complete correspondence shows that Mendelssohn not only went on to become one of the leading figures of German musical culture in the 1840s, but that he also maintained a network of musical contacts throughout Europe.

The edition of the complete letters
This scholarly-critical complete edition comprises 5,855 letters by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Previously only a small part of his correspondence had been published and made accessible to the public. The complete edition is based on Mendelssohn letters which have been compiled over decades by Rudolf Elvers as well as on international research carried out by an academic workgroup in Leipzig spearheaded by chief editors Helmut Loos and Wilhelm Seidel. They determined 500 additional letters hitherto unknown.

Versions of the letter texts have been compiled from a scholarly-critical analysis of the sources, their historical context has been discussed and comments on all points in need of explanation have been made.

This edition of the complete letters consists of 12 volumes and a CD-ROM. Each volume contains indices of mentioned individuals and institutions, compositions by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Fanny Hensel as well as a register of place names and currencies. In this way one obtains an all-encompassing view of this unique historical cosmos.

The Complete edition has been produced to the highest standards in terms of layout, cover and binding. It is an ideal collector’s item for bibliophiles, providing an excellent means for studying the composer and the period in which he lived.

The CD-ROM forms a valuable addition to the printed volumes. It offers the complete printed edition in the form of pdf. files, thereby making its approximately 9,500 pages digitally accessible and enabling letters and the corresponding commentary to be read in parallel. All terms can be located quickly and conveniently via a full text search.
(The 12 volumes as well as the CD-ROM can only be purchased complete).

- German text only

The Editors
Helmut Loos is Professor of Musicology at the University of Leipzig. He specialises in the music of the 19th and 20th centuries, in particular the reception of Beethoven, sacred music and links between Germany and Central and Eastern Europe.

Wilhelm Seidel was professor at the universities of Heidelberg, Marburg and Leipzig. His publications are devoted to the temporal structure of music, music aesthetics in the 18th and 19th centuries and music of the 16th to 20th centuries, currently on Mozart and Mendelssohn.

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Press reviews
„mustergültig … [eine] Gesamtedition, die philologische und biographische Kompetenz auf höchstem Niveau vereint.“
(Wolfgang Sandberger, Die Musikforschung 3/2018)
1,500.00 €
incl. VAT