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St. Paul (oratorio)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

St. Paul
Paulus
Oratorio by Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - Friedrich Wilhelm von Schadow 1834.jpg
The composer by Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow, 1834
EnglishSt. Paul
CatalogueOp. 36
LibrettoJulius Schubring
LanguageGerman
Based onlife of St. Paul in biblical narration
Performed22 May 1836 (1836-05-22): Düsseldorf
Movements45
Scoring
  • soprano, alto, tenor and 2 bass soloists
  • SATB choir
  • orchestra

St. Paul (in German Paulus), Op. 36, is an oratorio by Felix Mendelssohn. The composer oversaw versions and performances in both German and English within months of completing the music in early 1836.

Background

The libretto "after words of holy scripture" was begun in 1832. The composer with pastor Julius Schubring, a childhood friend, pulled together passages from the New Testament, chiefly the Acts of the Apostles, and the Old, as well as the texts of chorales and hymns, in a polyglot manner after Bach's model. Composition of the music started in 1834 and was complete in early 1836.

Performances

The work was premiered on 22 May 1836 (having been completed in April of that year[1]) at the Lower Rhenish Music Festival in Düsseldorf. The English premiere was in Liverpool on 3 October 1836 in a translation by Mendelssohn's friend, Karl Klingermann. Contralto Mary Shaw was one of the soloists at the English premiere. The first performance in the United States was in Boston on March 14, 1837. Mendelssohn himself conducted the first performance in Leipzig in the Paulinerkirche on 16 March 1837.[2] Numerous performances followed in Europe and in the United States.

During Mendelssohn's lifetime, St. Paul was a popular and frequently performed work. Today it is regularly performed in Germany and well disseminated in both of its original languages through an array of complete recordings.

Instrumentation

Structure

Part One

APPEAL AND DOXOLOGY

1. Overture
2. Chorus — Herr! Der du bist Gott (Lord, thou alone art God)[3]
3. Chorale — Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr' (To God on high be thanks and praise)

SCENE ONE — STONING OF STEPHEN

4. Recitative & Duet — Die Menge der Gläubigen (And the many that believed were of one heart)
5. Chorus — Dieser Mensch hört nicht auf (Now this man ceaseth not)
6. Recitative & Chorus — Und sie sahen auf ihn (And all that sat in the council)
7. Aria (S) — Jerusalem! Die du tötest die Propheten (Jerusalem! thou that killed the Prophets)
8. Recitative & Chorus — Sie aber stürmten auf ihn ein; Steiniget ihn! (Then they ran upon him; Stone him!)
9. Recitative & Chorale — Und sie steinigten ihn; Dir, Herr, dir (And they stoned him; To thee, O Lord)
10. Recitative — Und die Zeugen legten ab ihre Kleider (And the witnesses)
11. Chorus — Siehe! wir preisen selig (Happy and blest are they)

SCENE TWO — CONVERSION AND BAPTISM OF SAUL (PAUL)

12. Recitative (T) & Aria (B) — Saulus aber zerstörte die Gemeinde (And Saul made havock of the Church)
13. Recitative & Arioso (S) — Und zog mit einer Schar (But the Lord is mindful of his own)
14. Recitative & Chorus — Und als er auf dem Weg war; Saul! was verfolgst du mich? (And as he was on the way; Saul, why do you persecute me?)
15. Chorus — Mache dich auf! Werde Licht! (Arise! Let there be light!)
16. Chorale — Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme (Awake, calls the voice to us)
17. Recitative — Die Männer aber, die seine Gefährten waren (And his companions)
18. Aria (B) — Gott, sei mir gnädig (O God, have Mercy)
19. Recitative — Es war aber ein Jünger (And there was a Disciple)
20. Aria (B) & Chorus — Ich danke dir, Herr, mein Gott (I praise thee, O Lord)
21. Recitative — Und Ananias ging hin (And Ananias went his way)
22. Chorus — O welch eine Tiefe des Reichtums (O great is the depth)

Part Two

SCENE THREE — MISSION OF PAUL AND BARNABAS

23. Chorus — Der Erdkreis ist nun des Herrn (The nations are now the Lord's)
24. Recitative (S) — Und Paulus kam (And Paul came to the congregation)
25. Duettino (TB) — So sind wir nun Botschafter (Now we are ambassadors)
26. Chorus — Wie lieblich sind die Boten (How lovely are the messengers)
27. Recitative & Arioso (S) — Und wie sie ausgesandt von dem heiligen Geist (I will sing of thy great mercies)

SCENE FOUR — PERSECUTION OF PAUL BY HIS FORMER FELLOW BELIEVERS

28. Recitative (T) & Chorus — Da aber die Juden das Volk sahen (But when the Jews; Thus saith the Lord)
29. Chorus & Chorale — Ist das nicht; O Jesu Christe, wahres Licht (Is this he?; O Thou, the true and only light)
30. Recitative (TB) — Paulus aber und Barnabas sprachen (But Paul and Barnabas spoke freely)
31. Duet (TB) — Denn also hat uns der Herr geboten (For so hath the Lord)
32. Recitative (S) — Und es war ein Mann zu Lystra (And there was a man at Lystra)
33. Chorus — Die Götter sind den Menschen gleich geworden (The gods themselves)
34. Recitative (A) — Und nannten Barnabas Jupiter (And they called Barnabas Jupiter)
35. Chorus — Seid uns gnädig (O be gracious, ye immortals)
36. Recitative (TB), Aria (B) & Chorus — Da das die Apostel hörten (Now when the Apostles; For know ye not?)
37. Recitative (S) — Da ward das Volk erreget (Then the multitude)
38. Chorus — Hier ist des Herren Tempel (This is the Lord's temple)
39. Recitative (S) — Und sie alle verfolgten Paulus (And they all persecuted Paul)
40. Cavatina (T) — Sei getreu bis in den Tod (Be though faithful unto death)

SCENE FIVE — FAREWELL OF PAUL FROM EPHESUS

41. Recitative (SB) — Paulus sandte hin (And Paul sent and called the elders)
42. Chorus & Recitative (SATB) — Schone doch deiner selbst (Far be it from thy path)
43. Chorus — Sehet, welch eine Liebe (See what love)

SCENE SIX — MARTYRDOM OF PAUL

44. Recitative (S) — Und wenn er gleich geopfert wird (And though he be offered)
45. Chorus — Nicht aber ihm allein (Not only unto him)

Recordings

References

  1. ^ According to R. Larry Todd the manuscript's two parts are dated April 8, 1836 and April 18, 1836.
  2. ^ Paulus Oratorium 2011 Archived 2011-08-24 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 16 June 2011 (in German)
  3. ^ English translation of the German from score by Novello, Ewer & Co Ltd, ca. 1890; with some modern corrections

External links

This page was last edited on 16 December 2020, at 16:00
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