Frank--I feel the same way you do about Mendelssohn. I enjoy his music when I hear it, especially the octet, the 3rd & 4th symphonies, and the violin cto, but it just doesn't grab me and move me like a lot of music by Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, or a dozen or more 20th Century composers. Mendelssohn's hardly the only revered composer I respond to so tepidly; I feel the same way about Schubert and Schumann. Not until Brahms do I find another 19th C. German-speaker who excites my passion and kindles my imagination like Beethoven. Unlike their French, Russian, and Italian counterparts, the German Romantics mostly provoke little more than polite interest.
Note to fans of the German Romantics: Please don't get your knickers in a twist. I'm not saying they're bad or that those who love them are bad. I'm saying only that their music generally doesn't move me as strongly or as deeply as that of other composers whom I prefer. Some people like peanut butter cookies; I prefer chocolate chips.
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