Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847) Leipzig Edition of the Works of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – SON 429 | in preparation
edited by the Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften
ISMN: 979-0-004-80309-7 | Linen
The Critical Report on the oratorio “Elijah” concludes the five-volume edition of this major work by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. It presents – by way of exception in the form of a volume separate from the music editions – the summary of all the editorial commentaries particularly associated with the early versions (Volume V/11A) and the final version (Volume V/11) of “Elijah”, which has appeared in print. With the piano reduction (Volume V/11B) and the volume containing sketches and discarded versions (Volume V/11C), the Critical Report interweaves in other ways: Since it was possible to realize an independent, self-contained commentary for the former one, the present complete report only contains the relevant source overviews and descriptions but no source evaluation and text-critical remarks. The volume of sketches and discarded versions, on the other hand, containing a classification and comments on all the musical documents the composer had not intended for the public – among them, in particular, the documentation of the work’s modification for the final version – serves not least as a supplement and practical illustration of the verbal explanations contained in the Critical Report. Thus, the Critical Report, as Volume V/11D of the Edition, is intended to bundle, systematize and provide conclusive commentaries on the documents transmitted in connection with the “Elijah”, including not only the musical, but also all written documents – libretto drafts, correspondence, sources on the (English) reception –- that are specifically presented in this volume.
The Critical Report on “Elijah” contains the presentation and evaluation of a total of six source collections and nearly 260 individual sources, including no fewer than 20 libretto drafts written by Mendelssohn himself or with his participation. An essential component is also a detailed chronology of the work’s genesis. Mendelssohn’s creative work on his second oratorio took an unusually long period of twelve years, in fact almost a third of his life.