Mendelssohn's Elijah

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Mendelssohn's Elijah

Postby Marye » Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:19 pm

In Toronto we have the Mendelssohn Choir and they are performing Elijah on Wednesday evening and I plan to attend. I am not familiar with this piece, I do not think, meaning I do not have a recording. What is this piece's history? Do you know a good recording? Have you heard it live? All opinions are welcome. Please. :)

My thanks.
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Re: Mendelssohn's Elijah

Postby EJA » Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:04 pm

First of all, let me say that I love this piece of music. For me, it's the libretto that is most interesting, because it gives some insight into Mendelssohn's religious beliefs and Biblical knowledge. Aside from that, the music is fantastic. Mendelssohn considered it to be his greatest work. I would generally agree with him. Though it has a few dull moments, the bright moments are by far in the majority, and more than make up for the dull ones. As oratorios go, this one is number two, after Handel's Messiah, in my book.

I should probably mention that it is rather long at two hours and ten minutes.

I have this recording and I don't know if it is the best because it is the only one I have heard, but with Bryn Terfel in the title role, Renee Fleming as widow / angel, and Patrician Bardon as angel, all accompanied by the Endinburgh Festival Chorus and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, it has to be right up there. When Terfel tells Ahab what for, one gets the idea. Surprisingly, for me, the most memorable Aria is "Rest in the Lord," sung by Bardon. (I generally hate mezzos and all their works, but I liked this aria, and even this mezzo.) The boy soprano's part is extremely interesting, and used by Mendelssohn to amazing effect. The NYT had this to say about the Terfel recording.

I would highly recommend both this recording and the oratorio in general. Don't miss an opportunity to hear it live.
– EJA

Reality: An important truth test
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Re: Mendelssohn's Elijah

Postby Marye » Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:14 pm

Top man Ethan! :(
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Re: Mendelssohn's Elijah

Postby EJA » Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:54 pm

Originally posted by Marye:
Why do you hate Mezzos? :(
Well, not mezzos per se, but the sound they make. Sorry, I should have stated my feelings more precisely. :D

In all seriousness, of the female voices, I prefer soprano to alto and mezzo. A mezzo strikes me as a lukewarm alto, or a decrepid soprano. Yes, I prefer altos to mezzos. Sure, you can shoot me for it.

BTW, have you heard Mendelssohn's Saint Paul oratorio? I'm thinking that I may have to try that.

Has anyone heard Elgar's Apostles? I happened to run across a recording of it, and wonder if it is any good.
– EJA

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Re: Mendelssohn's Elijah

Postby Marye » Thu Nov 06, 2003 7:59 am

Ethan,

It was glorious........
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Re: Mendelssohn's Elijah

Postby Platypi007 » Wed Nov 26, 2003 4:52 pm

My college chorale sang Elijah this past spring and it was WONDERFUL. I absolutly adore Mendelssohn's music and this is one of his best works! We did not have people assigned to each roll but gave out the solos individualy to give more people a chance to have the experience of performing something like this. We also made a number of cuts for time and due to the fact that we only had a month and a half to get it up to performance level!

I sang It is Enough and the short recit just before it. This is easily my favorite number from the work but I generaly come to love the pieces I sing more than the other parts of works like this!

St. Paul is wonderful as well, I have sung an aria from it as well... I don't remember what the name of the aria is, and I do not have a recording but I think it was paul singing from the 51 psalm, "Then I will teach transgressors Thy ways" or somesuch.
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Re: Mendelssohn's Elijah

Postby Shapley » Wed Nov 26, 2003 5:14 pm

Platypi (or is that Platypuses),

Welcome to the forum!

V/R
Shapley
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: Mendelssohn's Elijah

Postby Platypi007 » Thu Nov 27, 2003 1:33 am

Well thank you! I started listening to beethoven radio online a couple of nights ago! I enjoy it mostly, it allows me to listen to music while I can't afford CDs, without having to put up with STATIC. I do remember the days when i'd take staticy radio over what webcast audio was... But those were the dark ages of streaming :)

Anyway, that is all totaly unrelated to this thread, sorry!! Thanks for the welcome!
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Re: Mendelssohn's Elijah

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Feb 23, 2004 6:05 pm

Elijah arrived in the mail a few days ago and I'm finally listening to the thing this afternoon. Extremely nice.

And, behold!! I find an old friend lurking on the second CD: He, Watching Over Israel is sitting there among all the other choruses. And the final chorus, it seems to me, has been a recessional at Easter festival services...

Think I'll play it again.
>^..^<
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Re: Mendelssohn's Elijah

Postby Rudy2toot » Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:45 am

He Watching Over Israel, Ave Verum, and Ave Maria, we just played for our orchestra founders funeral two weeks ago.
He was a devout Catholic and we always did a Good Friday concert performint Dubois' Seven Last Words of Christ which is also really beautiful.
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Re: Mendelssohn's Elijah

Postby Rudy2toot » Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:49 am

He Watching Over Israel, Ave Verum, and Ave Maria, we just played for our orchestra founders funeral two weeks ago.
He was a devout Catholic and we always did a Good Friday concert performint Dubois' Seven Last Words of Christ which is also really beautiful.
Rudy
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Re: Mendelssohn's Elijah

Postby Rudy2toot » Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:59 am

Back to the topic, sorry. I'm listening to Elijah samples right now.
You can get samples of nearly any music by searching Amazon.com and scrolling to the bottom of the page. If you have speakers, there are three different types of files to choose from so there is a pretty good chance one will work.
Hope you enjoy the show.
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