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Hyperion Records

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Tyrolean Girl Contemplating a Crucifix (detail) (1865) by Rudolph Friedrich Wasmann (1805-1886)
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67558
Recording details: July 2005
St John's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: May 2006
Total duration: 10 minutes 54 seconds

'Outgoing, excitingly resonant, spirited singing' (Gramophone)

'I doubt that you would find a better performance of Mendelssohn's sacred choral music than this. Finely executed with immaculate phrasing sensitively performed, it is clear that David Hill is leading the choir of St John's to even greater heights while it maintains its own highly individual sound. The whole production is worthy of the highest praise' (Choir & Organ)

'This is one special record' (American Record Guide)

'Some lovely—indeed memorable—performances here; including a gorgeous account of Mendelssohn's richly opulent Ave Maria, Op 23 No 2 (Allan Clayton the wonderfully yearning tenor soloist) and a gloriously magisterial Warum toben die Heiden? from Op 78 … Quentin Beer is an impressively clear and pure-voiced treble in that most famous of all treble solos—O, for the wings of a dove … the recording is a triumph. Hyperion has come up with a far more rewarding sound than either Decca or Naxos was ever able to achieve at St John's' (International Record Review)

'The Choir of St John's College, Cambridge, under David Hill, simply outsings all the current competition in sacred music by Mendelssohn' (Fanfare, USA)

Hör mein Bitten, Op posth.
First line:
Hear my prayer
composer
first performed on 25 January 1844
author of text
paraphrase of Psalm 55
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Anne Dawson (soprano), Corydon Singers, John Scott (organ), Matthew Best (conductor)
Jeremy Budd (treble), St Paul's Cathedral Choir, John Scott (conductor), Andrew Lucas (organ)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Known throughout the English-speaking world in its Mendelssohn-approved English version, Hör mein Bitten is the most popular of his small-scale choral works. It was composed during Mendelssohn’s eighth visit to England between May and July 1844, just before he began putting the finishing touches to his E minor Violin Concerto. In addition to the usual round of social engagements, Mendelssohn conducted six Philharmonic Society concerts, including celebrated performances of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Joseph Joachim and the fourth Piano Concerto by Mendelssohn himself. He described his time in England as ‘crazy, absolutely crazy’, and little wonder. He rarely got to bed until half past one in the morning, having spent each day in a feverish whirlwind of musical and social engagements, and later reckoned that he’d got through more music during his two months in London than he did the rest of the year put together.

Hör mein Bitten shows none of the sense of fatigue that afflicted Mendelssohn throughout his visit. On the contrary he seems to have taken the opportunity to conjure up the feelings of peace and contentment in the opening section that he so desperately sought in his personal life. As the choir joins the soprano (or treble) soloist, the music moves into 3/8 (E minor) and becomes considerably more agitated. After a brief and dramatic recitative, the contented final section resolves any tension in the flowing melodic lines of the inimitable ‘O for the wings, for the wings of a dove’.

from notes by Julian Haylock © 2006


Other albums featuring this work
'Hear my prayer' (CDH55445)
Hear my prayer
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55445  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Mendelssohn: Choral Music' (CDH55268)
Mendelssohn: Choral Music
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55268  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Last few CD copies remaining  

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