Felix Mendelssohn was one of the foremost German composers of the early 19th century. Within the confines of classical forms, he created lyrical expressions characteristic of the early Romantic movement.
The Variations sÚrieuses are one of the great masterpieces of Romantic piano music. Completed on 4 June 1841, they were published in 1842. The religious gravity of the theme is remarkable for its hymn-like clarity and the four-part writing is close to the spirit of the chorale. Some of the variations display almost baroque contrapuntal inventiveness, others are more purely romantic, coming close to Schumann's variation style.
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