New Classics

Felix Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg in 1809 and began learning piano at an early age, giving his first recital at nine and beginning to compose at ten. By the time he was fifteen he had written several string symphonies, piano pieces and songs, as well as an opera. He first performed his most famous oratorio, Elijah, in 1846 at the Birmingham Music Festival. This double CD features the first complete recording of that choral masterwork, made in London in 1930 for the Columbia label. It features Stanford Robinson conducting the BBC National Chorus and Orchestra, and the top class soloists include soprano Isobel Baillie, tenor Parry Jones, Australian-born baritone Harold Williams (singing the title role) and alto Clara Serena. Also featured are organist Berkeley Mason and The Wireless Singers, an ensemble that would later evolve into the BBC Singers. Although seventy-five years old, these mono recordings have been digitally remastered to reveal a thrilling performance of this great dramatic work.

—John Pitt