Mendelssohn Oratorio suggestions wanted

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Gregg
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Mendelssohn Oratorio suggestions wanted

Post by Gregg » Thu May 25, 2006 7:13 pm

I don't know either St. Paul or Elijah, I'll probably try Elijah first. It will be vacation listening.

Any suggestions on a recording?


Gregg

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Post by Haydnseek » Thu May 25, 2006 8:02 pm

I usually refrain from recommendations because I haven’t heard enough recordings to make informed comparisons, but I enjoy Helmut Rilling’s version of Elijah on the Hänssler label enough to mention it. The soloists are Christine Schäfer, Cornelia Kallisch, Michael Schade and Wolfgang Schöne. It’s beautifully performed and recorded, dramatic and moving.
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Bob
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Post by Bob » Thu May 25, 2006 10:26 pm

If it's helpful, here are my favorites of Elijah and Paulus, of which I have at least two performances of each.

Elijah (English) -- By far, my fav of the English readings is Marriner with ASMF Orchestra and Chorus. Marriner gets it right, in my opinion, with passionate drama accompanying the narrative. Anthony Rolfe-Johnson and Yvonne Kenny are wonderful as soloists. Compared with Fruhbeck de Bourgos and New Philharmonia and Shaw/Atlanta.

Elijah (German) -- I only have one in German, Sawallisch with Gewandhaus Leipzig (appropriately Mendelssohn's old orchestra) with Theo Adam in the role of Elijah. Sawallisch presents a crisp reading which is incisive, leaving no ambiguity as to Mendelssohn's objective. While I would welcome listening to another version, I have no desire to pursue one, being well-satisfied with this one.

Paulus (German only) -- Except possibly for some excerpts, I personally don't know of any full English renderings, and my Deutsch is pretty ugly. Having said that, I have a couple of versions, one is a disappointing and poor sounding recording of Muti with the Milan Symphony in mono from the early 1970s. A more satisfying musical reading is by de Bourgos once again with Dusseldorf. Very lyrically presented, although I felt that orchestra had some inconsistent playing in the overture.

Bob

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Post by Lance » Fri May 26, 2006 12:51 am

If you don't know either of these oratorios, I would strongly suggest to you ELIJAH (Elias). It has become my favourite oratorio - even over Handel's Messiah. There are some golden moments in this work with the chorus. Because the chorus is so important, I recommend the 2-CD Telarc set [80389] with Hampson, Bonney, Hadley, Quivar, Marietta Simpson, and Schellenberg. The king of choral directors (who later took on orchestras as well) is Robert Shaw, who was incomparable among choral directors in his lifetime. The forces are the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. I have nine complete Elijahs on CD and among them, this will be most rewarding. Superb recording from Telarc as well.
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val
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Post by val » Fri May 26, 2006 2:31 am

I have Elijah (in German) in Sawallisch version, with very good soloists such as Theo Adam and Ameling. And the orchestra is also splendid (the Gewenthaus).

Gregg
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Post by Gregg » Fri May 26, 2006 8:30 pm

My thanks to you all.

First it's a trip to Academy Records/CDs, since I hate to buy retail, if they are Elijah-less on to Tower!

I am inclined to buy an english performance. Shaw might be the ticket, we shall see what Academy provides...


Gregg

Lance
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Post by Lance » Fri May 26, 2006 8:35 pm

Gregg wrote:My thanks to you all.

First it's a trip to Academy Records/CDs, since I hate to buy retail, if they are Elijah-less on to Tower!

I am inclined to buy an english performance. Shaw might be the ticket, we shall see what Academy provides...


Gregg
Good luck, Gregg. I'm sure you'll find something. You can't go wrong with any of the suggestions you've had so far. What a masterpiece you will find from Mendelssohn's hand in Elijah. I'll be curious to know what you ended up with so please be sure to let us know.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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