This book is a study and critical edition of Mendelssohn's composition exercuse book from his early period of study with Carl Friedrich Zelter (1819-1821). The workbook illustrates in considerable detail the young musician's struggle to master the rules of part writing around and principles of counterpoint. Much of Zelter's systematic teaching method is grounded in the eighteenth-century theoretical tradition of Berlin : not surprisingly, the exercices bear the stamp of the music of J. S. Bach, which heavily influences such Berlin musicians as C. P. E. Bach, C. F. C. Fasch, Marpurg, Kirnberger, Zelter, and Mendelssohn. There is little doubt that the historicist attitude of the mature Mendelssohn - as seen in his efforts to revive the works of Bach and Handel and in his propensity toward strict cuntrapuntal techniques in his own music - was conditioned by these studies with Zelter.
The publication of the workbook sheds new light on the early development of one of the most important nineteenth-century composers whi, though affected by the new wave of romanticism that swept over Europe, never lost his respect for the past. No less important, the manuscript includes several previously unpublished pieces which rank among Mendelssohn's earliest compositions.
Première édition : 1983