Reviewed Elsewhere: Regina Back, “Freund meiner MusikSeele”: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy und Carl Klingemann im brieflichen Dialog.

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Regina Back. “Freund meiner MusikSeele”: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy und Carl Klingemann im brieflichen Dialog.

Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2014. 642 pp. €93.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-3-7618-2299-9.

... Back’s wider aim is to place the letters in the context of the nature of the cult of male friendship and the role of correspondence in preserving it at a distance, so conspicuously demonstrated in the present case, where the friendship survived both physical absence and changes of marital status for both men. There is a considerable literature on the nature and philosophy of correspondence, particularly in German, which Back takes fully into account. …

Perhaps one of Back’s most important contributions is to stress Klingemann’s role as Mendelssohn’s business intermediary in England, both for publication and concert engagements …

Mendelssohn scholars have much cause to be grateful to Regina Back for producing such a comprehensive reassessment of the role of Klingemann in the composer’s life and their ‘meeting of souls’, which should enable his contribution to be appreciated to a far greater extent than hitherto.

Peter Ward Jones, Music & Letters 96, 4 (2015), 668–671.