Fingal's Cave

Album: Classical Dreams (1830)
  • "The Hebrides Overture" also known as "Fingal's Cave," is a concert overture composed by Felix Mendelssohn. Written in 1830, the piece was inspired by the German composer's trip to Scotland in 1829. Fingal's Cave itself is a cavern on Staffa, an island in the Hebrides archipelago located off the coast of Scotland. The opening bars of the famous theme were actually written the day before the composer visited the cave.
  • The music, though labelled as an overture, is intended to stand as a complete work. The piece was completed on December 16, 1830 and was originally entitled "The Lonely Island." However, Mendelssohn later revised the score completing it by June 20, 1832 and re-titling the music "The Hebrides." The overture was premiered on May 14, 1832 in London.
  • Mendelssohn was enchanted by Scotland and the Staffa scenery in particular. However, it appears that the journey to the tiny Hebridian island was not so enjoyable. He wrote from the comfort of dry land some days later, "How much has happened since my last letter and this! The most fearful sickness, Staffa, scenery, travels and people."
  • Naturalist Sir Joseph Banks discovered the cave in 1772 while on a natural history expedition to Iceland. It was named after Fingal, the hero of an epic poem by 18th-century Scots poet-historian James Macpherson. Mendelssohn's overture popularized the cave as a tourist destination and during Victorian times paddle steamers landed 300 people a day on the island.
  • The opening few minutes of the overture are played in the 1943 movie The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp while Roger Livesey's character Clive Candy visits his German friend in a Prisoner of War camp.

Comments: 1

  • Michael from Bradford, EnglandAlthough born and known in the West as Felix Mendelssohn, he adopted the name "Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" when he was Christened. In some countries he is called "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Mendelssohn
see more comments

Dwight TwilleySongwriter Interviews

Since his debut single "I'm On Fire" in 1975, Dwight has been providing Spinal-Tap moments and misadventure.

Colin HaySongwriter Interviews

Established as a redoubtable singer-songwriter, the Men At Work frontman explains how religion, sobriety and Jack Nicholson play into his songwriting.

Into The Great Wide Open: Made-up MusiciansSong Writing

Eddie (played by Johnny Depp in the video) found fame fleeting, but Chuck Berry's made-up musician fared better.

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"They're Playing My Song

"How much does it cost? I'll buy it?" Another songwriter told Jonathan to change these lyrics. Good thing he ignored this advice.

RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.

Sam PhillipsSongwriter Interviews

Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind - Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.