The author mentions Schumann and Brahms primarily in order to
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.”to provide examples of composers who are often compared with Mendelssohn, identify certain composers who are more popular than Mendelssohn, identify composers whom Mendelssohn influenced, establish the milieu in which Mendelssohn worked, establish a standard of comparison for Mendelssohn as a composer
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