LEIPZIG.- The doyen of German Mendelssohn research, Dr. Rudolf Elvers, has collected items regarding composer and conductor Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy over more than four decades. His collection, which he formally presented to the Museum of City History Leipzig in a ceremony at the Old Town Hall, comprises more than 1000 items and is a top-class selection consisting of handwritten sources, drawings, first editions and books.
The more than 1000 items include seven handwritten album pages and fragments of compositions, 87 handwritten, partly unpublished letters and documents by Mendelssohn and more than 200 manuscripts from the composers family and social environment. The authors include the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Cécile Mendelssohn, Max Reger, Clara Schumann and Carl Maria von Weber as well as the composer Anton Wilhelm von Zuckalmaglio.
Moreover, several - partly unknown - drawings by Mendelssohn, which show him as a talented painter, and an unknown aquarelle showing a portrait of his wife, Cécile, and a family album containing drawings of his wife and children are particularly fascinating.
Rudolf Elvers enthusiasm for Mendelssohn spanned many decades. As the long standing director of the music department of the National Library in Berlin, he gathered experience and maintained good contacts with the descendants of the Mendelssohn family and antiquarians specialising in music. With the acquisition of the Elvers Collection the Museum of City History Leipzig will become one of the central Mendelssohn institutions and will, thus, contribute to Leipzigs profile as a centre of the preservation of Mendelssohns work and historical legacy.
From mid-November 2011 to the beginning of January 2012 outstanding pieces of the Elvers Collection including the most beautiful drawings, the most fascinating letters, the most valuable books and the most touching personal documents of the composer and his family - will be shown in a studio exhibition of the Museum of City History.