Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) was born into a German Jewish family but was baptised in 1816 on the advice of his uncle. In both Germany and Britain of the time Jews had still not achieved full legal and civil equality with Christians (emancipation of the Jews took place in Britain in 1858) and a quick way of enjoying the fruits of the political and social changes in Europe was to convert. It would be a mistake however to think that Felix’s conversion (he added ‘Bartholdy’ to his surname at this time) was insincere his conversion was deeply significant to him and many devout and sincere religous works flowed from his fertile musical imagination. His anthem ‘I Waited For The Lord’ forms part of his Symphony No 2, Op 52, and is called the ‘Lobgesang’ (Hymn of Praise’). The sixth part of this cantata-symphony is the duet ‘I Waited For The Lord’ it was commissioned by the Leipzig town council for the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the invention of printing. Who better to give the commission to than to one of Leipzig’s most renowned sons – Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy? It’s sung below the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, London, with the duet being sung by trebles Connor Burrowes and Edmund Hill. Enjoy :-).
Soloists: Connor Burrowes, Edmund Hill Trebles
Text: I waited for the Lord
I waited for the Lord, he inclined unto me, he heard my complaint. O bless’d are they that hope and trust in the Lord.
(after Psalm 40: 1, 5)