As is invariably the case with Mendelssohn’s final choral works, the Kyrie eleison
of 1846 (the last and finest of four settings he composed) was written for the choir of the Domkirche in Berlin. The sense of inner peace and warmth of expression which characterizes this setting is remarkable from a man who was close to physical collapse. Throughout his life (with the notable exception of losing his beloved sister, Fanny, right at the end), Mendelssohn repeatedly demonstrated a transcendental ability to overcome worldly concerns and elevate his music to a more spiritual level of human experience.
from notes by Julian Haylock © 2006