Next to Mozart’s own oeuvre, this year’s Mozart Week in Salzburg also focuses on the works of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. The story of the prophet Elijah fascinated the early romantic German composer for many years before he composed the dramatic oratorio as a commission from Birmingham, where it was first performed in 1845 and met with instant success. The Salzburg performance boasts a high-carat cast of soloists led by Christiane Karg, Katharina Magiera and Werner Güra. Pablo Heras-Casals conducts the Camerata Salzburg and the Salzburg Bach Choir.
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy set the 42nd Psalm, Wie der Hirsch schreit, to music during his honeymoon in 1837. Schumann described the cantata as “the highest level Mendelssohn reached as a sacred composer, yes indeed the highest level modern church music itself has reached.” Originally planned by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Pablo Heras-Casals now conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in this concert project as well. Dorothea Röschmann and Werner Güra perform the solo roles.