Our next concert is Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah, which we’re performing at the Guildhall, Plymouth on Sunday, December 6th.
This work tells the biblical story of the prophet Elijah, a tale of extreme violence, opening with a genocide and featuring a classic massacre in the middle, as well as a euphemistically-violent ending. Elijah himself is surely the greatest of all role models for, among others, the bloodiest of modern Islamic terrorists (indeed, everything we know about Bin Laden echoes Elijah’s story). For added cognitive dissonance, the bloody tales are interlaced with gentle and serene proclamations of God’s goodness and boundless mercy: war was peace long before Orwell and Newspeak!
As for the music, Mendelssohn was of course one of the master tunesmiths of all time. There’s a lot that’s lovely, scenes that are quite exciting, and a fair few tunes that listeners will find familiar. Set for soloists, a substantial chorus and middling-sized orchestra. I think I can recommend it to readers within evening-out distance of Plymouth.