Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel [PN M.B. 85], .
Folio. Original publisher's gray wrappers with titling within decorative border. 1f. (recto title, verso blank), 1f. (contents), 328 pp. Engraved. Text in German.
In the series: "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's Werke. Kritisch durchgesehene Ausgabe von Julius Reitz. Mit Genehmigung der Originalverleger. Serie 13. Oratorien. Partitur." From the Breitkopf edition of Mendelssohn's Complete Works, No. 85.
From the library of composer Horace Middleton (1879-1961), with his small handstamp to upper wrapper and title. Small oval handstamp of Novello to upper wrapper and blank foot of title.
Wrappers rather worn; corner of upper lacking; lower detached. Occasional light foxing, heavier to some leaves; edges somewhat soiled; some signatures split.
Wehner MWV A 14, p. 19.
Paulus, an oratorio to a libretto by Julius Schubring after Acts, was first performed as part of the Niederrheinische Musikfest in Düsseldorf on 22 May 1836. Simrock printed the first edition of the piano-vocal score in December 1836, and the full score the following spring.
Mendelssohn distinguished himself in many fields, and his contributions to sacred choral music are no exception. He was the most prominent advocate for the music of J.S. Bach, reviving the St. Matthew Passion in 1829, and helped to reestablish the oratorio by providing two superb examples: St. Paul (1836) and Elijah (1846).
"From Bach's Passions and Handel's oratorios Mendelssohn borrowed the use of the traditional narrator, to relate in recitatives the dramatic action of the work. Conspicuously Bachian are the chorales, interspersed throughout the oratorio to demarcate the principal structural divisions, diffusing, according to Carl Klingemann, ‘a calmness through the whole’. On the other hand a debt to Handel is revealed in the rich variety of the choruses, which include several that directly engage in the dramatic action and several cast in a variety of fugal styles. Prefacing the oratorio is an overture that evokes Paul's struggle for spiritual awakening by means of the chorale Wachet auf and a dissonant fugue, with its subject derived from the first strain of the chorale." R. Larry Todd in Grove Music Online.
Horace Middleton was a British-born musician who served on the faculty of Bennett College from 1919 to the mid-1930s. He was best known for the music he composed for the Greek plays performed at the college. See obituary, Millbrook Round Table, November 23, 1961.
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