Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847): O Rest in the Lord – David Wigram, Boy Soprano.

St. Peter’s Church, St. Albans, Hertfordshire where David Wigram was head chorister at the time this recording was made.

Mendelssohn’s dramatic re-telling of the story of the prophet Elijah as he summons the Israelites to righteousness, performs miracles, and struggles against the idol-worshipping Jezebel received it’s first performance on August 26th 1846, in Birmingham. The alto solo ‘O Rest in the Lord’  is, to my mind, one of the most beautiful parts of the oratorio. The text are the words spoken to Elijah after he has fled into the wilderness for a day. In this scene Elijah lies dispirited and near to collapsoe from exhaustion. He asks God to kill him because he cannot bear the suffering he is enduring, worn out by grief and his exertions he falls asleep. An angel appears twice the first time to wake him and give him bread and water – following which Elijah falls asleep again. The angel then appears for a second time, wakes him again and both gives him enough food for Elijah to survive for forty days and forty nights in the wilderness and encourages him by telling him that he should not fret himself because of evil doers but rather that he should commit to God who will give him his ‘heart’s desires’. It’s sung below by the English treble soloist David Wigram who was 13 at the time this recording was made. Enjoy :-).

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Text, Felix Mendelssohn: O Rest in the Lord

O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him,
and He shall give thee thy heart’s desires:
O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him,
and He shall give thee thy heart’s desires,
and He shall give thee thy heart’s desires.
Commit thy way unto Him, and trust in Him;
commit thy way unto Him, and trust in Him,
and fret not they self because of evil doers.
O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him,
wait patiently for Him;
O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him,
and He shall give thee thy heart’s desires,
and He shall give thee thy heart’s desires.
O rest in the Lord, O rest in the Lord,
and wait, wait patiently for Him.

Video, text and performer information source: David Wigram, Boy Soprano. Mendelssohn, O Rest in the Lord – YouTube Uploaded by sfkcbf on Feb 26, 2012

Performer Information: O Rest in the Lord, from the oratorio Elijah, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. David Wigram, boy soprano.

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