MENDELSSOHN, ARNOLD (1855–1933), composer and organist. Born in Ratibor, Germany, a collateral descendant of Felix *Mendelssohn, Arnold Mendelssohn studied law at Tübingen (1877) and pursued a musical education at the Institut für Kirchenmusik in Berlin (1877–80), where he studied organ with Karl August Haupt, the piano with Loeschhorn, and composition with Grell, Friedrich Kiel, and Taubert. Mendelssohn was organist of Bonn University (1880–82), conductor at Bielefeld (1882–85), professor at the conservatories of Cologne (1885–90) and Darmstadt (1890–1912) and from 1912 of the Hoch Conservatory at Frankfurt, where Paul Hindemith and K. Thomas were his students. Mendelssohn contributed to the renewal of interest in Lutheran church music both by his promotion of the works of Bach and Schütz and through his own compositions, rejecting the romanticized style of his contemporaries and evolving a purer and more appropriate polyphonic liturgical idiom. His compositions include the sacred choral works Abendkantate (1881) and Geistliche Chormusik (1926); operas, symphonies, chamber music, and songs. He edited Heinrich Schütz's oratorios, some of Monteverdi's madrigals, and wrote essays such as Gott, Welt und Kunst (ed. by W. Ewald, 1949).
Grove online; W. Nagel, Arnold Mendelssohn (1906); A. Werner-Jensen, Arnold Mendelssohn als Liederkomponist (1976); E. Weber-Ansat, Arnold Mendelssohn (1855–1933) und seine Verdienste um die Erneuerung der evangelischen Kirchenmusik (1981).
[Israela Stein (2nd ed.)]
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