The drama and energy in Mendelssohn’s Elijah

Phoenix choir SUS-160217-085653001
Phoenix choir SUS-160217-085653001

Phoenix Choir members have “thoroughly” enjoyed rehearsing Felix Mendelssohn’s beautiful oratorio, Elijah over the last few months.

On Saturday February 4 at 7.30pm they will be performing this magnificent work at All Saints Church in Grange Road to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the composer’s death.

The oratorio is based on the life of the Old Testament prophet and is often regarded as the crowning glory of Mendelssohn’s successful career, establishing itself as second only to Handel’s Messiah in the public’s affections.

Despite it being a sacred work, Mendelssohn wanted his piece to have a dramatic realism: “I imagined Elijah as a real prophet through and through, of the kind we could really do with today: Strong, zealous and, yes, even bad-tempered, angry and brooding—in contrast to the riff-raff, whether of the court or the people, and indeed in contrast to almost the whole world—and yet borne aloft as if on angels’ wings.”

His comments are probably as topical today as they would have been in 1838. Mendelssohn’s achievement was to bring to the oratorio a great dramatic energy and coherence as well as the necessary dignity, and all with his uniquely imaginative orchestration.

Musical Director Michael Fields always brings something fresh and exciting to Eastbourne with his interpretations of familiar repertoire; joined by the talented Samuel Evans as Elijah, this is sure to be a memorable performance.

Tickets £15 (concs £7) available from; Reid+Dean Estate Agents, Cornfield Road; Tourist Information Centre - or on the door.

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