HEBRIDES OVERTURE (FINGAL'S CAVE)

by

Felix Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn was born in 1809 in Hamburg, Germany and died in 1847 in Leipzig, Germany.

Mendelssohn was an accomplished composer, conductor and pianist, who is also remembered as founder of the Leipzig Conservatory of Music in 1843. Mendelssohn was a child prodigy and wrote Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream when he was only 17 years of age.

In 1829, following a trip to England, Mendelssohn and a friend travelled to the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland. There they visited Fingal’s Cave, a sea cave on the island of Staffa. Mendelssohn captures the unique characteristics of this cave in the Hebrides Overture. Composed as a ‘concert overture’, a form of work that became popular in the Romantic period, Hebrides Overture is also an early example of a tone poem.

There is a theory that Mendelssohn completed his first draft of Hebrides Overture on or around December 16, 1830, the one day that year that Fingal’s Cave would have been illuminated by the sun. After being revised several times, the final revision of Hebrides Overture was premiered in Berlin in 1833, conducted by the composer.

Step 1. Watch the video to learn about the Flute

Step 2. Listen to the TSO recording of Hebrides Overture

Step 3. Answer 10 questions

Step 4. Download a Word Search

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