Notes and Editorial Reviews
Just in time for his 200th birthday Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's Sinfonie-Kantate Lobgesang has been released as a fitting conclusion to the recording of his complete sacred music, performed by the Kammerchor Stuttgart, under the direction of Frieder Bernius. Originally conceived as a small oratorio or a large psalm-cantata, the combination of 3 symphonic movements with 12 vocal movements conformed to neither of these two genres; thus Mendelssohn called the work a "Sinfonie-Kantate." In the course of the 20th century the unavoidable and, in part, negative comparisons to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony led to the Lobgesang being almost completely ignored. It is only in the last few decades, spurred on by the definitive impulse of Frieder Bernius and the Kammerchor Stuttgart, that the work has come to be regarded as a successful example of the symphonic conception of Mendelssohn's sacred music, in which he attempted to bridge the gap between church and concert hall.