Music of the Week: March 3, 2023: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen

Mendelssohn - Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen (UniversitätsChor München)

Mendelssohn – Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen (UniversitätsChor München)

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy is regarded as the Mozart of the 19th century, one of the most important composers of the German Romantic period. He started to compose at the age of 11, writing no less than 60 works within this first year, and at the age of 12 visited Johann Wolfgang von Goethe for the first time. Mendelssohn was not only a composer but also an organist, pianist, singer, painter, conductor, and reformer of music practice. He also preserved many significant works of composers who came before him, such as Bach, Händel, and Haydn. In Leipzig in 1843, Mendelssohn founded Germany’s first music conservatory. He died at the age of 38.

Some of the most sublime arrangements of choral music come from Felix Mendelssohn, and among them, this week’s music pick, an eight-part a cappella piece written in 1844. The words are based on verses 11 and 12 from Psalm 91 invoking the protection of the angels.

For he will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you in all your ways.
Upon their hands they shall carry you,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.

Mendelssohn later incorporated this piece into his famous oratorio Elijah, a masterpiece of choral composition, which we will feature as Music of the Week in the future.

You are listening to the University Choir of Munich under conductor Johannes Kleinjung performing in 2010 in the great assembly hall of Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich.


Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy on Wikipedia

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