Mendelssohn choral works language question

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Posts: 10
Joined: 10 Dec 2007 11:17

Mendelssohn choral works language question

Postby Pieter » 10 Dec 2007 22:01

hello everyone,

first off: i'm new at this forum and i'd like to thank every one who contributed to making an awesome library of sheet music.

i'm Dutch, but live in France at the moment. I'm preparing to direct a small choir of 8 persons, so i'm looking for sheet music all the time.
anyways, i'd like to do some of the psalms and motets by Felix Mendelssohn...i have a question on the motets Op. 69 ("Nunc Dimittis", "Jubilate Deo" and "Magnificat")
i'm wondering if the original text is in English or in German (or even in Latin?)
Arie Fokkens, who has added the score says the original text is English, but i own a 10 cd box set with all choral works by Mendelssohn, by the chamber choir of europe...theyhave sung these pieces in German, and also other pieces in English. this makes me wonder, is the original german or english?

anyone know the answer?

thanks in advance,


Posts: 254
Joined: 12 Sep 2005 14:39

Postby mjolnir » 11 Dec 2007 02:59

These items which date from the same period as the English language oratorio, "Elijah", were composed by Mendelssohn as settings of the Anglican Evensong (Magnificat & Nunc dimittis) and Mattins (Jubilate Deo) texts, perhaps at the request of an English publisher. However, I seem to remember, perhaps incorrectly, that due to a dispute between Mendelssohn and the publisher, they may have been published first in German. The UK reprint house, Cathedral Music, has a edition of these, which includes a history of there composition and publication.


Posts: 10
Joined: 10 Dec 2007 11:17

Postby Pieter » 11 Dec 2007 13:16

right, so Mendelssohn probabl wrote them both in English and in German. so i might be able to do both :)

thanks very much for the swift response...


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