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CROWELL, has added the first full length biography of Mendelsohn to its rapidly growing library of the lives of interesting people. The story of the musician's struggles against his professional antagonists in Berlin and against his position as a man born in the Jewish faith is dramatically and interestingly told by Schirma Kaufman one of the younger members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Long study at the scene of the com- poser's activities and deep research into local and personal records have resulted in an account as detailed as a novel and written in much the same manner. Kaufman was fortunate in the choice of a subject for this style of writing since his principal character fits exactly into the mould which would be chosen by a romatic author.
A genius at the age of fourteen and fully mature at seventeen, Mendelsohn experienced as much activity in his short life of thirty nine years as most men would in two lifetimes and the author has carefully guided the reader through the interesting development of his many struggles and less frequent pleasures.
Kaufman has especially shown a sympathetic understanding of the minor details of the musician's environment and the effect of his heritage on his compositions and behaviour. He portrays the strong influence of the orthodox character of the senior Mendelsohn on his son's education, the fight against the Jewish faith and its consequent reaction after becoming protestant, and the guiding spirit of the great Goothe with a comprehensive touch which can only be given by a writer who knows his subject
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