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A few years ago, The New Yorker's classical music critic Alex Ross called German composer Felix Mendelssohn “the most amazing child prodigy in musical history,” and then detailed why Mendelssohn, and not the most famous child prodigy in musical history, Mozart, deserved the title.

It came down to freakishly early accomplishments. Both demonstrated genius at an age when most kids can barely muster self-control. But only Mendelssohn produced canonical works while still in his teens, including his overture to “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” which Ross described as “one magical tableau after another.”

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