Mendelssohn: Sacred Choral Music

Mendelssohn: Sacred Choral Music
Director of Music: 
David Hill
Organ Scholar: 
John Robinson
Release date: 
July 2005
  • Allan Clayton (Tenor)
  • Jonathan Knight (Solo)
  • Peter Morton (Solo - Tenor)
  • Lester Lardenoye (Solo)
  • Peter Crawford (Solo - Alto)
  • George Humphrys (Solo)
  • Andrew Davies (Solo - Bass)
  • Quintin Beer (Solo)
  • Joseph Gardom (Solo - Treble)
Record label: 
Catalogue number: 

Nowhere is Mendelssohn’s creative psyche more poignantly exposed than in his choral works. His desire to create music rewarding for performers and listeners alike is everywhere apparent, as is his always mellifluous and gracious vocal writing. Most endearing of all are Mendelssohn’s worlds of dream-like contentment, which cocoon the listener in a web of enchanted idealism. Hör mein Bitten (Hear my prayer) is the most popular of his small-scale choral works and was composed during Mendelssohn’s eighth visit to England in 1844, just before he began putting the finishing touches to his E minor Violin Concerto. The piece conjures up the feelings of peace and contentment in the flowing melodic lines of the inimitable ‘O for the wings of a dove’, which is also on this disc in its famous English adaptation. All of these sacred works are radiantly performed by The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge under David Hill in the first of a new series of recordings on the Hyperion label. The treble soloist is the stunning Quintin Beer who featured in a BBC Radio 4 documentary about Allegri’s famous Miserere.

Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard

Total duration: 70 minutes 3 seconds

Track list
  1. Aus tiefer Not, Mendelssohn
  2. Bei dir gilt nichts, Mendelssohn
  3. Und ob es wahrt, Mendelssohn
  4. Ob bei uns ist der Sunden viel, Mendelssohn
  5. Ave Maria, Mendelssohn
  6. Mitten wir im Leben sind, Mendelssohn
  7. Hor mein Bitten, Mendelssohn
  8. Warum toben die Heiden, Mendelssohn
  9. Richte mich, Gott, Mendelssohn
  10. Zum Abendsegen, Mendelssohn
  11. Kyrie eleison, Mendelssohn
  12. Heilig, heilig ist Gott, der Herr Zebaoth, Mendelssohn
  13. Ehre sie Gott in der Hohe, Mendelssohn
  14. Verleih' uns Frieden, Mendelssohn
  15. O for the wings of a dove, Mendelssohn
I doubt that you would find a better performance of Mendelssohn's sacred choral music than this. Finely executed with immaculate phrasing sensitively performed, it is clear that David Hill is leading the choir of St John's to even greater heights while it maintains its own highly individual sound. The whole production is worthy of the highest praise.

Choir & Organ

Outgoing, excitingly resonant, spirited singing.


...some lovely - indeed memorable - performances here; including a gorgeous account of Mendelssohn's richly opulent Ave Maria, Op 23 no 2 (Allan Clayton the wonderfully yearning tenor soloist) and a gloriously magisterial Warum toben die Heiden from Op. 78 ... Quentin Beer is an impressively clear and pure-voiced treble in that most famous of all treble solos - 'O, for the wings of a dove'...The recording is a triumph. Hyperion has come up with a far more rewarding sound than either Decca or Naxos was ever able to achieve at St John's.

International Record Review

This is one special record.

American Record Guide

The Choir of St John's College, Cambridge, under David Hill, simply outsings all the current competition in sacred music by Mendelssohn.

Fanfare (USA)

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