On November 20 at 7 PM, we will perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah at St. George’s Church in Stuyvesant Square. Ahead of this performance, we checked in with Artistic Director Matthew Lewis to see what he likes best about the piece. Here are his favorite moments:
- The beginning of the piece is unusual. It begins with a recitative, followed by an orchestral overture. The chorus makes a stunning and dramatic entrance, crying "Help, Lord!" It's a powerful start to the piece.
- The Angels octet is stunning, and that happens early in the oratorio. Mendelssohn had written this "motet" previously, and incorporated it into Elijah. It's one of the most beautiful movements.
- I think a memorable highlight of the piece is the standoff between Elijah and the prophets of Ba'al. The Ba'al choruses are so exciting! And, Mendelssohn has a great sense of humor in setting Elijah's mocking response to their "no show" god.
- I have to admit, my favorite parts are the big choruses. "Thanks be to God," at the conclusion of Part 1, and "Be not afraid," at the beginning of Part 2—amazing! And, so fun to sing and to hear.
Come hear these highlights, and decide your favorite parts of this grand work. Tickets are on sale now.