Psalm 42 (Mendelssohn)

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Psalm 42, Op. 42 (MWV A 15) "Wie der Hirsch schreit" ("As pants the Hart") is a composition by Felix Mendelssohn composed and published 1837 (revised 1838) for soloists, mixed choir and orchestra.

Mendelssohn set the music to Martin Luther's German translation of Psalm 42 from the Book of Psalms.

At the work's first performance, in Leipzig on 1 January 1838, Mendelssohn conducted the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, with Clara Novello as soprano. He was the orchestra's musical director from 1835 until his death in 1847.

Schumann opined in 1837 that Mendelssohn's setting of Psalm 42 was the "highest point that he [Mendelssohn] reached as a composer for the church. Indeed the highest point recent church music has reached at all."[1] Mendelssohn himself described it as “my best sacred piece… the best thing I have composed in this manner”, a work “I hold in greater regard than most of my other compositions.”[2]

Structure[edit]

  1. Chorus: Wie der Hirsch schreit (As the Hart Longs)
  2. Aria (soprano): Meine Seele dürstet nach Gott (For my soul thirsteth for God)
  3. Recitative and aria (soprano): Meine Tränen sind meine Speise (My tears have been my meat) – Denn ich wollte gern hingehen (For I had gone forth most gladly)
  4. Chorus: Was betrübst du dich, meine Seele (Why, my soul, art thou so vexed?)
  5. Recitative (soprano): Mein Gott, betrübt ist meine Seele (My God, within me is my soul cast down)
  6. Quintet (soprano with TTBB): Der Herr hat des Tages verheißen (The Lord hath commanded)
  7. Final chorus: Was betrübst du dich, meine Seele (Why, my soul, art thou so vexed?)

External links and references[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mendelssohn's Psalm 42 on Carus Verlag website. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  2. ^ Michael Cookson, Review on Music Web International of Vol. 4, Wie der Hirsch schreit (Carus 83.202), one of the 12 volumes of 'Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Complete Sacred Choral Music' (Carus). Retrieved 20 August 2018.