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Mendelssohn's Elijah | Bath Bach Choir

Saturday July 8, 2023 at 19:00
Bath Abbey, Bath
£11, £16, £25, £28, £30 (concessions under 16s)
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  1. Elijah Op 70 - Felix Mendelssohn

The choir is delighted to be bringing Mendelssohn’s much-loved oratorio Elijah back to Bath Abbey for its summer concert. Premiered in the Birmingham Festival of 1846, Elijah was first conducted by Mendelssohn himself and the piece has enjoyed huge popularity ever since. Large crowds accompanied the composer’s appearance at the premiere and we are expecting a similarly full house in Bath Abbey, to enjoy new conductor Benedict Collins Rice’s interpretation of the work.

It had taken Mendelssohn over a decade to finish the oratorio having worked long and hard on the libretto. As is usual with such works, it has a sacred subject but is not intended for inclusion in church services. It is scored for solo voices, choir and orchestra. The narration of the biblical story of the Old Testament prophet Elijah is in the form of recitatives sung by the soloists interspersed with the choir singing various airs and choruses; it is a work full of vitality. Mendelssohn was undoubtedly influenced by both Bach and Handel, adding his own enthusiastic and dramatic style that captures the audience’s interest from the opening to the final chorus.

Bath Bach Choir is thrilled that baritone Matthew Brook will be singing the part of Elijah. With an outstanding reputation for his performances of the music of Bach and Handel in particular, he is currently much in demand all over the world. The choir will be accompanied by Southern Sinfonia, one of the most distinctive orchestral ensembles in the south of England, with Marcus Sealy playing organ continuo.

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