Leipzig Edition of the Works of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Complete works)
Series V (Stage Works) - Vol. 9A: Music to "Athalia" by Racine (Op. 74) MWV M 16
"Athalie" – the French original with women's chorus
To this day it is not widely known that Mendelssohn set Racine's "Athalie" to music first in its original language in 1843, whereby he did not write music to the text of the tragedy itself, but only to the choruses between the acts. Since in Racine's work the chorus consists of girls from the tribe of Levi, the composer limited himself to women's voices, a logical dramaturgical choice. "Athalie" fell into oblivion in this first version, which called solely for piano accompaniment, particularly since Mendelssohn translated the vocal texts into German for King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia two years later, orchestrated the piano accompaniment, added instrumental sections, concentrated the choral pieces and added male voices to the chorus. The newly discovered "Ur-Athalie" was recorded in 2002 by the Gächinger Kantorei under the direction of Hellmuth Rilling. Edited by Armin Koch, the volume also contains extensive sketches which offer revealing insights into Mendelssohn's compositional process. The Leipzig Mendelssohn Complete Edition thus presents another important first edition.
- SON 416 107,00 €