Source: Official Guide Revised GRE 1st Ed. Part 4; Set 2; #2

4

Select a sentence in the passage whose function

Select a sentence in the passage whose function is to indicate the range of Mendelssohn’s musical talents. Was Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) a great composer? On its face, the question seems absurd. One of the most gifted prodigies in the history of music, he produced his first masterpiece at sixteen. From then on, he was recognized as an artist of preternatural abilities, not only as a composer but also as a pianist and conductor. But Mendelssohn’s enduring popularity has often been at odds—sometimes quite sharply—with his critical standing. Despite general acknowledgment of his genius, there has been a noticeable reluctance to rank him with, say, Schumann or Brahms. As Haggin put it, Mendelssohn, as a composer, was a “minor master . . . working on a small scale of emotion and texture.”

3 Explanations

1

Stefanie P Smith

What about the following: "Despite general acknowledgement of his genius, there has been a noticeable reluctance to rank him with, say, Schumann or Brahms."

Why couldn't this sentence describe his range? The passage author maintains he is a genius, but he's not as good as other composers. (Range = genius > his limits in comparison to others).

Jun 4, 2017 • Comment

Adam

Hi Stefanie,

Happy to help :) The problem with this sentence is that "range" and "genius" are in fact different. A person's range is defined as "the scope of a person's knowledge or abilities." Someone can have a great range of abilities (they can be proficient in many different things) but still not be very gifted. Think of the phrase "jack of all trades; master of none." A jack of all trades has a great range, but is not a genius or master.

Jun 5, 2017 • Reply

1

ajith kumar

The question asks about the range of mendelssohn's musical talent and why isn't the last paragraph " As haggin put it , Mendelssohn , as a composer was a "minor master .. working on a scale of emotion and texture . "
from this passage it conveys that mendelssohn has a range of minor master and working on a scale of emotion and texture >>
please explain

Mar 8, 2017 • Comment

Sam Kinsman, Magoosh Tutor

Hi Ajith!

The question says: "Select a sentence in the passage whose function is to indicate the range of Mendelssohn’s musical talents." The phrase "range of M's musical talents" means how many musical talents M had. So we need to find a sentence that tells us about the number of different talents M had.

The last sentence tells us that M was a minor master - that is, M was a good composer - but he was not excellent. The sentence also tells us that M worked on "a small scale of emotion and texture." So this doesn't tell us about the number of different talents M had.

The correct answer is "From then on, he was recognized as an artist of preternatural abilities, not only as a composer but also as a pianist and conductor." This is because this sentence tells us that M was a composer, a pianist, and a conductor. So we know that M had a wide range of musical talents (i.e. many different musical talents).

Mar 8, 2017 • Reply

ajith kumar

thank you . i got your point

Mar 9, 2017 • Reply

2

Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Oct 3, 2012 • Comment

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