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Mendelssohn: Elijah, 1846 [Gabrieli Consort & Players/Paul McCreesh] [Double CD]

Felix Mendelssohn , Paul McCreesh , Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir , Gabrieli Consort & Players , Rosemary Joshua , et al. Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: £20.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Mendelssohn: Elijah, 1846 [Gabrieli Consort & Players/Paul McCreesh] + A New Venetian Coronation, 1595 (Gramophone Award Winner 2013 - Early Music Catagory)
Price For Both: £34.00

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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Aug 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Signum Classics
  • ASIN: B008OGI5ZO
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,643 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Introduction: As God the Lord of Israel Liveth
2. Overture
3. Help, Lord!
4. Lord, Bow Thine Ear to Our Prayer!
5. Ye People, Rend Your Hearts
6. If With All Your Hearts
7. Yet Doth the Lord See It Not
8. Elijah! Get Thee Hence, Elijah
9. For He Shall Give His Angels
10. Now Cherith's Brook Is Dried Up
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Hear Ye, Israel
2. Be Not Afraid, Saith God the Lord
3. The Lord Hath Exalted Thee
4. Woe to Him, He Shall Perish
5. Man of God
6. It Is Enough!
7. See, Now He Sleepeth
8. Lift Thine Eyes to the Mountains
9. He, Watching Over Israel
10. Arise, Elijah
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Description

CD Description

At the time of its first performances in 1846, Elijah was hailed as one of the great oratorios alongside Handel s 'Messiah'. It tells the story of the prophet with imposing grandeur, inspirational orchestration and beautiful arias, recitatives and choruses. This mighty piece requires even mightier orchestral and choral forces and the Gabrieli singers are reinforced by the talented Gabrieli Young Singers Scheme and the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir. This recording sees over 440 musicians taking part, including 92 string players and over 300 singers.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This new recording -sung in English- and by the same forces as the acclaimed 2011 Prom Concert- brings a thrilling 'fresh/old' look to this famous old 'war-horse' of a score.
Unlike all preceding recordings, Paul McCreesh (so well-known in the 'authentic' performance movement)and his team have faithfully returned to the practices of the early performances conducted by Mendelssohn himself, and those of the decades immediately folllowing that triumphant performance in Birmingham Town Hall in 1846.
Like the 'live' Prom concert on which this recording is based, Paul McCreesh's orchestral and choral forces number over 400.
The augmented orchestra includes the 'period' instruments which Mendelssohn himself wrote for (including the specified ophicleids and serpents) adding vivid wieght and colour, and the massed choir includes not only the Gabrieli Consort at its nucleus but numerous young singers amongst the ranks.
Admittedly, the inspiration of Mendelssohn's writing throughout this lenghty oratorio did occassionally flag, but the enthusiasm of these forces brings it all freshly alive - most often thrillingly.
Amongst the soloists, Simon Keenlyside is a committed Elijah, Sarah Connolly a malevolent Queen -and special mention must be made of the boy-treble Jonty Ward's exceptional singing of the 'weather report' which leads directly into thrilling conclusion of Part One.
For those who heard the 'live' concert broadcast on Radio 3, I can only say that this recording is far superior in it's clarity and detail, as also the balance between the orchestra and the chorus. (e.g. the 'rushing waters' of the violins in "Thanks Be To God" are now to be heard clearly amidst the tumult of brass and wind.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumphant new recording 28 Sep 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This new recording of Elijah is utterly fantastic - all soloists are truly excellent. Connolly is particularly impressive and conveys real loathing and hatred in her vocal. The enourmous chorus are hugely well controlled by McCreesh, particularly in large chorus' where sibilant 'S' sounds could be a real issue for example 'He watching over Israel, SlumberS not nor SleepS'. The choir are a formidable force and in conjunction with the superbly dubbed organ of Birmingham Town Hall perform the powerful chorus' of Elijah with ease. The orchestral overture is incredibly well performed and the orchestra throughout are well controlled and play with poise and style.

The only version of Elijah that is worth buying, and it is worth noting that the packaging is also beautifully presented - a real treat.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good as it Gets 8 Oct 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Even if you don't know the story of the Oratorio, you know from the first words that Ahab and Israel are in for a bumpy ride. On many oratorio recordings it is difficult to imagine what are the forces; here there is no question. This is big, and you can hear it. Of course, to tell Elijah's story requires a big cast and lots can go wrong when something like this is attempted; here however, it's as good as it gets. In addition to first rate soloists, and I haven't heard a better Elijah than Simon Keenlyside in fifty years, the choral singing is disciplined, and in the quieter moments even sublime. At times Mendelssohn has the chorus narrating, and singers will immediately recognize how these difficult to manage unison moments come off just as they should. The engineers have acheived a right balance between choral and orchestral forces, never forgetting that the story and the text come first. I now have four "Elijah's" in my library, including one in which I was a chorus member; this is the best of the bunch. The icing on the cake is the Amazon pricing. It is always a bargain when you get the best at a good price, and here is one more time when it's about as good as it gets. The whole thing is enhanced by a package that includes a small hardbound book in both English and Polish with photos of rehearsals and recording sessions.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gabrielli Consort/Players at its best again 18 May 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Very good rendition of this Mendelssohn's famous work....good articulation and poise from both choir and orchestra...I find it highly recommendable.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonic Boom! 5 Oct 2012
Format:Audio CD
Make sure your speakers are firmly fastened to the wall and the foundations of your house are reinforced before your put these discs on to your player. Else the sound of the mass choir as they sing 'Help Lord' might cause considerable damage. This is an amazing sonic experience with the 350 strong choir caught to give maximum impact - and it does! Seldom has Elijah seemed so thrilling an experience. The soloists are excellent. But make sure the neighbours are on holiday when you play it!
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Elijah holds a place in the choral repertoire that needs sustaining and refreshing. The story is that of hero, depressive and a role of great humanity and unassumed majesty. This recording loses none of its Biblical context and above all tells the story to great effect.

It is abundantly apparent that Mendelssohn makes the narrative speak and delivers all aspects with superb pace, clarity and authority. Like a good car it just needed an outstanding driver in McCreesh.

Once I would extol the Baker version and I still sincerely believe that the female leads are superb on that recording.

Later was Terfel and he is magnificent in voice. Many of the ensemble recordings cannot be dismissed but pray we need an Elijah we can believe in and here Keenlyside is that man and I consider leads the field amongst recordings.

I approached this recording expecting niggling flaws after reading the Proms reviews. But there were none!

The test to me is of some half a dozens arias and chorales. From It is Enough to Let the Mountains depart and it clear Keenlyside wins hands down. In fact he does not and cannot in my view disappoint.

The orchestral playing may sound familiar at times but from the outset you sense material differences that are superbly woven into the fabric. Extra gears have come into play. And oh that organ is just the business. The ensemble and choral pieces give no indication of the mix used or for that fact the Polish choir of the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir - all exemplary in my view.

At no time from my initial listening can I say other than it carries me from start to end and in no way makes me want to put it or cherry pick tracks. The choral signing is so compelling and Mendelssohn affirms his mastery of all he touches.
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