Mendelssohn Octet "Its youthful verve, brilliance and perfection make it one of the miracles of nineteenth-century music." Critic Conrad Wilson on the Mendelssohn Octet Felix Mendelssohn’s (1809-1847) Octet for Strings is a remarkable work. The composer deftly weaves together notes and harmonies in a manner that evokes fairies and spirits floating through the air. You would be forgiven to think this was the music of a composer with a great deal of experience. Could you guess that Mendelssohn was only sixteen years old when he created this masterpiece. His young soul was enthralled with romanticism and he passed his time reading Shakespeare and Goethe. The next year he would complete his overture to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. In the “quickness and lightening” that he aspired to in the Octet, you hear Mendelssohn working out musically the ideas that would take further flight in his ode to Shakespeare.