Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Birmingham
The series about historical places of opera art & culture. Get to know exciting excursion and travel ideas for opera lovers. This time: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Birmingham.
All Destinations on google maps with links to detailed Blogposts:
Mendelssohn in Birmingham
From his London stays, Mendelssohn visited Birmingham several times, and usually gave concerts there at the triennial music festival. For the 1837 occasion, he composed the virtuosic D minor Piano Concerto (No. 2), with which he hoped to impress the visitors.
At the time, Birmingham had just built the spectacular Town Hall with its great organ, and so the city also witnessed the premiere of perhaps Mendelssohn’s greatest work: a year before his death, he performed his Elijah oratorio for the first time. A special train brought the approximately 300 performers from London, who after 3 ½ hours of music (parts of Haydn’s “Creation” and Beethoven’s “Missa solemnis” were also performed!) had to play several encores.
Destination Birmingham Town Hall
The building was designed in the Roman style in the style of the ancient Temple of Castor in the Roman Forum, with more than three dozen Corinthian columns. The hall became famous for its organ, it was at that time the largest and technologically most advanced in the world with its 6,000 pipes (by William Hill & Sons).
Town Hall (historic image 1845):
Town Hall (actual image):