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The Hofstra University Choir and String Orchestra put on a fabulous holiday concert in the John Cranford Adams Playhouse on December 10th, 2013. The concert featured works by Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, and Anton Arensky, just to name a few. The holiday spirit was exuded through the concert hall and audience members left in awe of the talent that Hofstra University fosters.

One of the composers included in the concert was Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847). Felix was born in the German city of Hamburg to the Jewish family of Leah Salomon and Abraham Mendelssohn, who was a wealthy banker. From a young age, Felix Mendelssohn showed the true talent of a prodigy and being born in a family of well-to-do scholars definitely had its advantages; providing the ideal cultural environment for the artistic and talented young Felix. The Mendelssohn family traveled throughout Europe but eventually ended up settling down in Berlin. This move to Berlin proved to be extremely beneficial for Felix, who though he had received prior musical instruction from his sister Fanny, it was there he was really able to flourish as he studied the piano under Ludwig Berger and composition with Karl. F. Zelter.Mendelssohn was very influenced by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Felix’s aunt had collected a number of Bach manuscripts which he was introduced to and Bach’s music, which had fallen into relative obscurity by the turn of the 19th century, was also deeply respected by Felix’s teacher Zelter. Mendelssohn was so inspired by Bach’s work that he arranged and conducted a performance in Berlin of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. This performance and its success was an important element in the revival of J.S. Bach’s music in Germany and all throughout E…

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… Service. The sopranos shined, carrying the harmony, and I could not help but smile and think of the happiness of the song. This song itself absolutely made the concert worth attending. I commend Director Bell on her choice of music for the entire performance, but especially for choosing to close with Mary’s Little Boy Chile. As soon as the song concluded, the audience clapped abundantly and inevitably wound up in a standing ovation; and what more could you ask for?

Works Cited

“Felix Mendelssohn.” Classical Archives. All Music Guide, n.d. Web. 18 Dec 2013..

Oron, Aryeh. “Johannes Brhams.” Bach Cantatas. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec 2013. .

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