Friday, April 22, 2005


A highlight of last weekend was attending a performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah by the Seattle Symphony Chorale at Benaroya Hall. This is my sister's first year singing with the chorale. She is in the alto section.

The performance was beautiful and intense. Originally, the chorale was going to have sung in English, but when Helmuth Rilling was invited to be the guest conductor, they switched to German. He conducted the oratorio without a score.

I was moved by Mendelssohn's depiction of the suffering of the people during the time of drought and subsequent famine. In other tellings of the stories, the focus is often on the show-downs between Elijah and the king/the prophets of Baal/Jezebel/God. Mendelssohn's oratorio opens with Elijah declaring the beginning of the drought, then the overture, and then the opening chorus of the people, "Hilf, Herr! Hilf, Herr! Help, Lord!" The power and pleading of 130 voices crying out to God was overwhelming.

Me and my sister in the Grand Lobby after the concert.

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