ANNA REID (soprano)
MURIEL CHILDE (contralto)
JAMES JOHNSTON (tenor)
HOOTON MITCHELL (bass)
THE BELFAST WIRELESS
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA and CHORUS
Conductor, E. GODFREY BROWN
Introduction, As God the Lord of Israel liveth
Chorus, Help, Lord!
Duet and Chorus, Lord, bow Thine ear to our prayer
Recitative, Ye people, rend your hearts Air, If with all your hearts
Chorus, Yet doth the Lord see it not Recitative, Elijah, get thee hence
Double Quartet, For He shall give
His angels charge over thee
Recitative, Now Cherith's brook is dried up
Recitative, Air and Duet, What have
I to do with thee, 0 man of God ?
Chorus, Blessed are the men who fear Him
Recitative and Chorus,. As God the Lord of Sabaoth liveth
Double Chorus, Baal, we cry to thee Recitative, Call him louder
Chorus, Hear our cry, 0 Baal Recitative, Call him louder
Chorus, Baal, hear and answer Air, Lord God of Abraham
Quartet, Cast thy burden upon the Lord
Recitative, 0 Thou, who makest
Thine angels spirits
Chorus, The fire descends from heaven Air, Is not His word like a fire ?
Air, Woe unto them who forsake Him ! Recitative, 0 man of God, help thy people
Recitative and Chorus, 0 Lord, Thou hast overthrown Thine enemies
Chorus, Thanks be to God
THE WORDS of Elijah are taken from various sources in the Old Testament, and the book is made up of incidents from the life of the Prophet, though strict Bible sequence is not followed. The dramatic power of the work, however, is so marked that Elijah has been mounted as an opera on more than one occasion, and quite recently at the ' Old Vic '. Part I is concerned with the drought sent by God to scourge the people of Israel, Elijah's trial by fire and his intervention, and God's response to repentance and prayer in the form of rain. In Part II, which is not included in the present broadcast, Elijah first denounces Ahab, is denounced to the people by Jezebel, is warned by Obadiah and goes into the wilderness, is shown a vision of God upon Mount Horeb, and is subsequently taken up to heaven. The oratorio finishes with a prophecy foretelling the advent of Christ.
Elijah was first performed at the Birmingham Festival of 1846, for which it was commissioned. So busy was Mendelssohn at the time, and so hard pushed to get it done by the date given him, that the chorus had to learn their parts in instalments, the first arriving only two months before and the last just nine days before the actual performance. The soloists were even worse off, but that the performance went well the notices and criticisms testify. Elijah was later performed in London, the Queen and the Prince Consort being present. Prince Albert amused himself by writing a heartfelt and extremely flowery tribute to Mendelssohn in his book of words, and sent it to him the next day.