Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

Felix Mendelssohn: Lobgesang

for Strings, Organ, Timpani, Soloists and Choir


Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) completed the Lobgesang in 1840 for a concert in Leipzig celebrating the 400th anniversary of Gutenberg's invention of the printing press. Mendelssohn termed the piece a 'symphony-cantata' as it incorporated a three movement orchestral work followed by a choral cantata, using Biblical texts. It loosely resembles Beethoven's 9th Symphony in structure, but strongly differs in mood, especially through its celebratory opening. This arrangement reduces the orchestral part to strings, organ and timpani, with much of the wind and brass material being taken by the organ. There is symphonic breadth and depth when needed, as well as a more transparent, lighter accompaniment for the singers. The opening orchestral movements are not included in the arrangement, instead the music follows from the majestic introduction directly into the first chorus. It is intended for use in choral concerts, allowing the work to be performed by smaller groups in medium-sized venues. All of the choral and solo parts are unchanged from the original, and the score includes both German and English texts.


Instrumentation: strings, organ, timpani, soloists and choir


Listen to extracts of the arrangement here:


1. Sinfonia, 2. Chorus: Alles, was Odem hat, lobe den Herrn. All men, all things, all that has life and breath (5’44”)

7. Chorus: Die Nacht ist vergangen. The night is departing (5’55“)

10. Chorus: Ihr Völker! bringet her dem Herrn. Ye nations, offer to the Lord (5’58”)


Available to hire or purchase from Aria Editions here


CONTENTS:


1. Sinfonia

2. Coro (e Soprano solo): Alles, was Odem hat, lobe den Herrn. All men, all things, all that has life and breath

3. Recitativo (Tenore solo): Saget es, die ihr erlöst seid durch den Herrn. Sing ye praise, all ye redeemed of the Lord

4. Coro: Sagt es, die ihr erlöset seid. All ye that cried unto the Lord

5. Duetto (Soprano 1 & 2 solo) e Coro: Ich harrete des Herrn. I waited for the Lord

6. Tenore Solo: Stricke des Todes hatten uns umfangen. The sorrows of death had closed all around me

7. Coro: Die Nacht ist vergangen. The night is departing

8. Chorale: Nun danket Alle Gott. Let all men praise the Lord

9. Soprano e Tenore solo: Drum sing' ich mit meinem Liede. My song shall be alway thy mercy

10. Coro: Ihr Völker! bringet her dem Herrn. Ye nations, offer to the Lord