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Felix Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn

The Romantic movement, at its peak between 1800 and 1850, considered Scotland to be the epitome of Romanticism and a visit was an essential part of any artistic young man’s education.  In the summer of 1829 Felix Mendelssohn and his friend Karl Klingermann visited to Scotland.  They made their way via Edinburgh and the Highlands to Fort William and Oban then on to Tobermory.  Their visit to Staffa and Fingal’s Cave was marred by bad weather but, in spite of seasickness, Mendelssohn began to compose the opening bars of The Hebrides Overture.  Felix sent a postcard to his family with the opening phrase of the overture written on it.  In a note to his sister, Fanny, he said ‘In order to make you understand how extraordinarily The Hebrides affected me, I send you the following, which came into my head there.’