Hegel and Mendelssohn
Mendelssohn and Hegel knew each other. Hegel was in attendance at Mendelssohns groundbreaking performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Mendelssohn attended Hegel’s lectures on aesthetics. There families were acquainted socially and spent time together. One wonders what kind of conversations would have gone on between them, but reality is often more prosaic, ordinary and, well, familiar than we might wish to imagine it. Just like it is for us every day.
“The winter semester, which ran into the early months of 1829 offered … Hegel’s lectures on aesthetics. One might suppose that Hegel’s views of music piqued Felix’s curiosity, but the search for Hegelian influence on the composer is, in the main, a frustrating enterprise. Though Hegel enjoyed social exchanges with the Mendelssohns, he seems to have used his visits not so much to discuss music as to enjoy whist.”
R. Larry Todd, Mendelssohn: A Life in Music