Elijah in Worship

Mendelssohn – Elijah, Op. 70
Sunday, May 20, 2018 – 9:30 a.m. (Part I)  & 11:15 a.m. (Part II)

Jessica Dold, soprano
Kristen Dininno, alto
Stanford Olsen, tenor
Stephen West, bass
FUMC Chancel Choir
Michigan Sinfonietta Orchestra
Ann Marie Koukios, conductor

Written in 1846, Mendelssohn’s exciting oratorio Elijah reveals numerous influences of Handel’s popular Messiah, written 100 years earlier.  He does so through the central use of chorus, spirited musical amplification of biblical texts, and poignant use of soli, while incorporating the added dimensions of 19th century musical style – expanded musical forces, greater harmonic color, more vibrant rhythmic energy, and, most importantly, a more intense portrayal of the dramatic elements of the story –  here being the powerful events in the life of the prophet Elijah.   Through a libretto comprised of successive scenes depicting Elijah’s journey, the biblical characters are musically brought to life. Mendelssohn’s writings and letters reveal a profound faith in God as well as a great respect for the Biblical Word.  The bible served as the cornerstone of Mendelssohn’s daily life as well as the inspiration for much of his work.  According to the composer, in Elijah, “The personages should act and speak as if they were living beings from a real world, such as you find in every chapter of the Old Testament.”  The resultant work is an inspiring addition to the repertoire of sacred choral music and powerful testament of faith.  Don’t miss this exciting worship offering!