The prodigiously gifted Felix Mendelssohn first conceived of writing the oratorio Elijah in 1836, but it was not until ten years later that a commission from the Birmingham Festival gave him the opportunity to do so. Having determined that the work should present the characters as real people, he was unable to find a suitable librettist, and decided to write most of the libretto himself. The completed work was first performed on 26 August 1846 in Birmingham Town Hall to a packed audience of two thousand, and was an instant success. For many years Elijah was second only in popularity to Handel’s Messiah, but sadly Mendelssohn was to die only a year after its first performance.
Elijah, with its dramatic, almost operatic, style marks a significant step forward from the earlier choral masterpieces of Bach and Handel. From its imaginative and energetic orchestration, to the beauty of so many of the arias and choruses, to the dramatic portrayal of Elijah himself, this work deserves its place as one of the great choral masterpieces. We are delighted to be bringing it to Bury St Edmunds after an absence of many years. Please come and enjoy, with us, this wonderful music.
Bury Bach Choir is joined for this performance by members of Nayland Choir. This concert forms part of the 2017 Bury St Edmunds Festival.
Booking opens 27 February 2017
Tickets £25 and £20 (reserved), £15 (unreserved)
Early booking discount £2 off all tickets booked by 22 April 2017
Possible concert dates and venues
Saturday 6 November 2021
The Apex, Charter Square
Saturday 18 December 2021
The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Lavenham
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The Choir’s purpose is “to prepare and give public performances primarily of the core choral repertoire, using professional soloists and instrumentalists, to the highest possible standard”.