Elijah

Not So Ordinary Encounters

These are not glamorous people.

A view of the installation. Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery, Blum & Poe and neugerriemschneider. Photo by Alex Slade

Felix Mendelssohn: A Jewish Christian, Discuss.

Tonight the New York Philharmonic begins the first of three "Elijah" performances.  They should all be magnificent, on purely aesthetic grounds.  But there's a deep theological divide embedded in this work too, and one that has profound implications for our understanding of how Jewish a composer -- if one at all -- Felix Mendelssohn was.

Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’: Both Sides Now

Was the German composer’s oratorio a nod toward his Jewish ancestry — or the full fruition of his Christian identity?

11/09/2010
Staff Writer

When the New York Philharmonic performs Felix Mendelssohn’s rarely heard “Elijah” (1846) oratorio this weekend, many will no doubt see it as proof that the composer always identified with his family’s Jewish faith.

Bass-baritone Gerald Finley sings the role of Elijah in the New York Philharmonic’s production of the oratorio.
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