Hebrides Overture (Fingal's Cave) Op. 26
Felix Mendelssohn

53

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Mendelssohn has 5 entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame — the same as Dvořák and John Williams, amongst others — and this is his second highest.

As a young man, Mendelssohn travelled extensively and Scotland was one of the places that made an impression on him. It was after his Scottish trip that he wrote one of his most popular pieces: the Hebrides Overture, Fingal's Cave.

He travelled there with his friend Karl Klingemann in 1829 and during his stay in Edinburgh, he wrote to his parents: "I think that today I found the beginning of my 'Scottish' Symphony."

It was the Island of Staffa — a huge cavern over 200 feet deep and filled with colourful pillars of basalt — that particularly inspired Mendelssohn to write his Hebrides Overture.