Will no one stop the cycle of violins?

Will no one stop the cycle of violins? February 3, 2015

The other day, Mendelssohn’s string octet came on the radio, and I was astonished to learn that he wrote it when he was sixteen years old. It’s an extraordinary piece for a composer of any age, but sixteen!


I was really enjoying it, zipping down a country road, in and out of sunlight, snow sparkling, chords crashing, sixteenth notes swirling. Then about halfway through the first movement, I remembered something my sister Sarah once confessed about her relationship with violins. She said that, at a certain point, she just wants to say, “Are you done yet?” Hee hee. But no! Poor Mendelssohn. And not too long after he wrote this, he really was done, but just went on writing stuff anyway, leading some critics to say that the problem with Mendelssohn was that he never had anything to really feel bad about.

Well, happy birthday, Felix. I guess it’s all sorted out now.

featured image: “Mendelssohn Bartholdy” by James Warren Childe – watercolor painting. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Patrick Tramma

    How exactly do you “zip” in a 15-passenger van?

    • simchafisher

      That’s for me to know and you to get out of the way.