How can the future emerge from the past? When in the 19th century, for instance, a great composer at 20 years of age sets to work on resurrecting Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, which has lain dormant for 100 years, and studies the works of Handel, and these experiences play a role in him creating the genre of 19th-century sacred oratorio.
Two great oratorios from Mendelssohn's career bear witness to the composer's religious conviction. He completed Paulus at 27 years of age, in 1836, and Elias ten years later, in 1846, barely a year before his death in November 1847.
Both works are a genuine statement, and in two different ways. In one sense, they are about a man's testimony, with the central figure for the first piece an apostle, for the second a passionate prophet ready to fight for his beliefs. In another sense, in writi...ng Paulus and Elia Mendelssohn used these two great works to summarise his thoughts on 19th century oratorios: what can be taken from the past, and how he imagined the continuation of the 19th century oratorio sound.
Elias is a rarely heard work, which makes it a special occasion for the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hungarian National Choir to play under the baton of one of Britain's most versatile and dynamic conductors: Hilary Davan Wetton. His extraordinarily rich repertoire focuses on the works of Haydn, Mendelssohn and 20th-century British composers. On the vocal end, leading soloists Polina Pasztircsák, Andrea Meláth, Tibor Szappanos and Zsolt Haja will give this work the sound it deserves.
Presented by: Hungarian National Philharmonic
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