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Source: Official Guide Revised GRE 1st Ed. Part 4; Set 2; #5


The author mentions Schumann and Brahms primarily

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

3 Explanations


Niharika Verma

why (A) is not the answer. It's not clear from the video due to accent used.
Can someone please help?

Jun 1, 2019 • Comment


Hello Ujjwal!
Schumann and Brahms are given as examples of composers that critics think are better than Mendelssohn. In other words, yes, Mendelssohn is good, but he's not as good as Schumann and Brahms. Those latter composers, then, establish a standard of comparison: compared with the average Joe, Mendelssohn is great. But compared with Schumann and Brahms, he's just average. Choice E is just a better option, then, more than choice A is wrong. About choice A, though, the passage never mentions the *frequency* with which Mendelssohn is compared with Schumann and Brahms. So it misses the mark on that account as well.

Jun 4, 2019 • Reply


Neha Jain

Why can't "B" be the answer? As per critics, even though he is genius, there has been a noticeable reluctance to rank him with ....

Jan 18, 2016 • Comment

Cydney Seigerman, Magoosh Tutor

Good question!

B states "identify certain composers who are more popular than Mendelssohn." For this answer to be correct, we would need information about the popularity of the three composers. In the passage, "Mendelssohn's enduring popularity" is mentioned. In other words, Mendelssohn is a popular composer. Despite this and the overall view that Mendelssohn is a genius, he is usually not considered on par with composers such as Schumann or Brahms. While Mendelssohn's status is compared to that of Schumann and Brahms, we're told nothing about the popularity of the two other composers. They may have been excellent composers but we do not know if they are are more popular than Mendelssohn or not based on what we read in the passage. On the other hand, mentioning the two composers does offers a standard by which we can evaluate Mendelssohn and his work.

Hope this helps :)

Jan 19, 2016 • Reply


Chris Lele

Oct 3, 2012 • Comment

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