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Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, Introduction (search)
as furnished the Antigone with its most famous and most delightful illustration. Two generations have now been so accustomed to associate this play with the music of Mendelssohn that at least a passing notice is due toMendelssohn. the circumstances under which that music was composed; circumstances which, at a distance of nearly half a century, possess a peculiar interest of their own for these later days of classical revivals. After Frederick William IV. had come to the Prussian throne in June, 1840, one of his first acts was to found at Berlin the Academy of Arts for Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, and Music; Mendelssohn, who was then thirty-two, became the first Director of the department of Music, in the spring of 1841. The King had conceived the wish to revive some of the masterpieces of Greek Tragedy,— a project which the versatile poet Tieck, then on the confines of old age, encouraged warmly; none the less so, it would seem, because his own youth had been so vigorously ident