Mendelssohn's Trio opus 49:
A Study of the Composer's Change of Mind
Doctoral Document by Ron Regev


Felix Mendelssohn's Piano Trio in D minor, opus 49, is one of the most prominent works of the mainstream chamber music repertoire.  Completed in the spring of 1840, it became almost immediately a work celebrated by professional musicians and amateurs alike. 

In the summer of 1839 Mendelssohn completed a score of the entire piece, which was never published.  This draft version is extant and housed in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek in Berlin as part of the volume known as Mus.Ms.Autogr. Mendelssohn 31.   

The main purpose of this document is to gain insight into Mendelssohn’s compositional thought through a comparative analysis of the two complete versions of the D minor Trio: the draft of July 1839 and the final published version of April 1840.  The first part of the document reviews the history of the Trio’s composition; the second part attempts to trace some of the reasons that prompted Mendelssohn to revise the piece; and the third part derives practical interpretative conclusions from the previous discussion.  To facilitate the study of the draft version, the document includes a facsimile of the draft’s manuscript, a critical performance edition complete with parts, and a CD recording of both versions of the Trio.

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© 2004 by Ron Regev
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