Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Felix Mendelssohn composed at least three variants of the text of Psalm 100, a psalm of praise. Composed in 1844, the radiant C major of this homophonic work of beautiful harmony gains power with dynamic contrasts and the alternation of tutti and solo parts. Owing mainly to Mendelssohn’s roots in Judaism there has been much discussion over the years as to whether the setting was intended for a Jewish service; a possible commission from the Neuer Tempel-Verein of Hamburg. Pre-eminent Mendelssohn scholar R. Larry Todd puts forward a different viewpoint: “The preponderance of evidence suggests that Mendelssohn’s setting of the Psalm 100 was intended for the Berlin Cathedral.”

©Ryan Turner

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