From the Birmingham Studio
Order of Service: '
Hymn, ' Eternal Ruler of the ceaseless round
(Songs of Praise, No. 228)
The Lord's Prayer and Versiclea Psalm 23 ,
Hymn, ' Dear Lord and Father of Mankind'
(Songs of Praise, No. 226)
Address by the Rev. W. S. POWER(of St. George's
Hymn, ' Fill Thou my life, 0 Lord my God'
(Songs of Praise, No. 233)
HILDA BLAKE (Soprano)
ESTHER COLEMAN (Contralto)
ERIC GREENE (Tenor)
HAROLD WILLIAMS (Bass)
STUDIO CHORUS and AUGMENTED ORCHESTRA
Conducted by JOSEPH LEWIS
MENDELS SOHN , al. most more than any other foreign musician, was always happily at home in this country and made many visits, from the early one which produced the ' Fingal's Cave' Overture and the Scots Symphony to his last visit in 1846, when he came ovor specially to conduct the first performance of ' Elijah.' The work had been commissioned for tho Birmingham Festival and was finished with all Mendelssohn's usual punctuality in spite of his having countless other duties and responsibilities to cope with at the same time. The performance, on August 26, was a triumphant success, and eight separate numbers had to be repeated, so insistent was the audience. This, if not an actual record for the first performance of any sacred work, is at least unusual. Writing home after the performance, Mendelssohn him. self told his brother, ' No work of mine ever went so admirably at the first performance, or was received with such enthusiasm both by musicians and the public as this. I never in my life heard a. better periormance—no, nor so good, and almost doubt if I can ever hear one like it again.'
Mendelssohn did not allow the immediate success. of his work to blind him to what he thought minor defects, and after that first per. formance he revised considerable parts of it. In tho new form it was afterwards sung in London by the Sacred Harmonic Society; its first performance in Germany waa in October, 1847 ; there they call it ' Elias.'
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