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Cécile Jeanrenaud Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Birth: Oct. 10, 1817
Lyon, France
Death: Sep. 25, 1853
Frankfurt am Main
Hessen, Germany

Wife of composer Felix Mendelssohn. Born Cécile Sophie Charlotte Jeanrenaud, she was the daughter of a French Protestant minister who settled in Frankfurt, Germany. She sang with Frankfurt's St. Cecilia Choir and was also a talented amateur artist. Mendelssohn met her in May 1836 during a short visit to that city, and was soon writing to his family of a young woman with "most bewitching deep blue eyes" with whom he was "dreadfully in love". He confided his feelings in one of his "Songs Without Words" for solo piano, "Duet" (op. 38, no. 6). They were engaged in September of that year and married on March 28, 1837. On meeting Cécile for the first time, Mendelssohn's sister Fanny enthused, "She is amiable, simple, fresh, happy and even-tempered, and I consider Felix most fortunate. For though loving him inexpressibly, she does not spoil him, but when he is moody, meets him with a self-restraint which in due course of time will cure him of his moodiness altogether. The effect of her presence is like that of a fresh breeze, she is so light and bright and natural". The couple had five children, Carl, Marie, Paul, Lilli, and Felix. By all accounts they had a happy, contented marriage - at least until a series of health issues beset the family in the mid-1840s. Five births in six years weakened Cécile's already delicate condition, their youngest child was debilitated by measels (he would die at age seven), and a combination of high blood pressure and overwork was driving Mendelssohn into an early grave. After Mendelssohn's death in 1847, Cécile returned to Frankfurt with her two daughters to live with her mother, while her three sons were raised by in-laws in Berlin. She died of tuberculosis at 35 and was buried in the Jeanrenaud family plot in Frankfurt's Main Cemetery. Cécile was in part responsible for a crucial addition to her husband's repertory. Mendelssohn was a self-critical tinkerer, loath to publish his music until he believed it was perfect; Fanny Mendelssohn lamented that he never knew when to leave well enough alone. In 1833 he had successfully premiered his "Italian" Symphony in London, but he felt it was flawed and made substantial revisions between 1834 and 1837. Still unsatisfied, he shelved both versions and it did not see print in his lifetime. When a publisher asked for the symphony in 1851, Cécile - through accident or design - handed over the original 1833 manuscript Mendelssohn had rejected, and it was issued as his Symphony No. 4. The "Italian" Symphony became one of Mendelssohn's most popular works and a permanent concert hall staple. The revised version was unearthed in the 1990s and recorded in 1999. It is generally agreed to be inferior to the original, and one can only speculate how posterity would have treated the "Italian" Symphony in that guise. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
Family links: 
  Felix Mendelssohn (1809 - 1847)
  Paul Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1841 - 1880)*
  Felix August Eduard Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1843 - 1851)*
*Calculated relationship
Hauptfriedhof Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurter Stadtkreis
Hessen, Germany
Plot: Jeanrenaud Family Plot
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Nov 13, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 80376914
Cécile <i>Jeanrenaud</i> Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Added by: Bobb Edwards
Cécile <i>Jeanrenaud</i> Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Added by: Creative Commons
Cécile <i>Jeanrenaud</i> Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Added by: Creative Commons
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- quebecoise
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- R I P
 Added: Nov. 24, 2014
happy birthday and halloween!
- casper
 Added: Oct. 10, 2014
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