As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Felix Mendelssohn this year, we remember his gifts as a composer and also his prowess as an organist.
In a series of performances that spanned more than twenty years, Mendelssohn played many of the organ works of J.S. Bach throughout his native Germany, in Paris and, on several different trips, in London. He also edited and published a collection of major organ works of Bach, most notably the great chorale preludes, previously available only in manuscript. Finally, in the years just prior to his untimely death, he published a handful of his own organ works drawn from the many organ compositions that he wrote and reworked throughout his entire career.
On November 22, organists Larry Molinaro and Carolene Winter will perform a program that features many of these organ compositions, particularly those from Mendelssohn’s Op. 65, published in London in 1845, which was a collection of individual voluntaries loosely organized into six “sonatas.” Mendelssohn’s organ compositions to be performed include his Sonata in F minor, Op. 65, #1, Sonata in C minor, Op. 65, #2, Sonata in A Major, Op. 65, #3, movements from Sonatas #4, 5 and 6, composed as independent voluntaries, and selected pieces from the re-discovered miscellaneous works (published in the late twentieth century).