Tuesday 5 May 2009

Mendelssohn Week (1)

The BBC are in full Mendelssohn mode at the moment, gearing up for their Mendelssohn weekend. On Wednesday Evensong is being broadcast live at 4pm from the Temple Church when the choir will be performing Mendelssohn's Richte mich Gott and the first choral movement from the Lobesgesang. The voluntary is the Prelude and Fugue in C minor, Opus 37 no. 1.

Richte mich Gott is from Mendelssohn's Opus 78 motets. These wonderful, Bach inspired pieces were written in 1843 and first performed that year though they weren't published until after Mendelssohn's death. Richte mich Gott uses 8-part choir, but unlike Bach, Mendelssohn does not divide his forces into two equal choirs, instead he tends to work with the choir split into upper and lower voices.

Mendelssohn's 2nd Symphony, 'Lobesgesang' was written in 1840 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the invention of printing. There are 9 choral movements, setting texts from the bible and the first choral movement uses text from Psalms 150, 33, 145 and 103.

Mendelssohn's sacred choral music tends to be a bit under appreciated and there is a tendency, if you are going for a 19th century admirer of Bach to go for Brahms's motets instead. But Mendelssohn wrote some superbly powerful pieces and this service will be a welcome opportunity to hear his sacred music in a liturgical situation.

The evensong uses Walmisley in D minor for the Canticles and Smith for the Responses. I'm planning to be there for the recording, so will have more about the service on Thursday.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts this month