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CHAN 9882
(multiple CD Set)
Oratorio Paulas (in German)

Mendelssohn: Paulus

The Classical Shop
release date: February 2001

Recorded in 24 Bit / 44.1Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2000


BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Richard Hickox

Peter Coleman-Wright


Jean Rigby


Susan Gritton


Barry Banks


BBC National Chorus of Wales


St Davids Hall, Cardiff


Ralph Couzens

Tim Thorne



Ralph Couzens

Jonathan Cooper


Paul Jenkins


Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 115:15
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Oratorio Paulas (in German)

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Paulus (St Paul), Op. 36

  An oratorio  
  Words after the Holy Writ  
  Part I  
1 1 Overture 6:15
2 2 Chorus: 'Herr! Der du bist der Gott' 4:11
3 3 Chorale: 'Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr' 1:04
4 4 Recitative: 'Die Menge der Gläubigen' 1:56
  Solo soprano, Basses I & II  
5 5 Chorus: 'Dieser Mensch hört nicht auf zu reden' 3:01
6 6 Recitative and Chorus: 'Und sie sahen auf ihn Alle' 4:20
  Solo soprano, Stephen, Chorus  
7 7 Aria: 'Jersualem, die du tödtest die Propheten' 3:08
  Solo soprano  
8 8 Recitative and Chorus: 'Sie aber stümten auf ihn ein' 1:44
  Solo tenor, Chorus  
9 9 Recitative and Chorale: 'Und sie steinigten ihn' 2:04
  Solo tenor, Chorus  
10 10 Recitative: Und die Zeugen legten ab' 0:49
  Solo soprano  
11 11 Chorus: 'Siehe, wir preisen selig' 3:40
12 12 Recitative and Aria: 'Saulus aber zerstörte die Gemeinde' 2:13
  Solo tenor, Saul  
13 13 Recitative and Arioso: 'Und zog mit einer Schaar gen Damaskus' 2:40
  Solo contralto  
14 14 Recitative with Chorus: 'Und als er auf dem Wege war' 2:07
  Solo tenor, Chorus, Saul  
15 15 Chorus, 'Mache dich auf, werde Licht!' 4:28
16 16 Chorale: 'Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme' 1:59
17 17 Recitative: 'Die Männer aber die seine Gefährten waren' 1:08
  Solo tenor  
18 18 Aria: 'Gott sie mir gnädig' 5:06
19 19 Recitative: 'Es war aber ein Jünger zu Damaskus mit' 1:36
  Solo tenor, Solo soprano  
20 20 Aria with Chorus: 'Ich danke Dir, Herr mein Gott' 4:29
  Paul, Chorus  
21 21 Recitative: 'Und Ananias ging hin' 1:44
  Solo soprano, Solo tenor  
22 22 Chorus: 'O welch' eine Tiefe des Reichthums' 4:42
  Part II  
23 23 Chorus: 'Der Erdkreis ist nun des Herrn' 4:10
24 24 Recitative: 'Und Paulus kam zu der Gemeinde' 0:48
  Solo soprano  
25 25 Duettino: 'So sind wir nun Botschafter' 1:37
  Barnabas, Paul  
26 26 Chorus: 'Wie lieblich sind die Boten' 3:00
27 27 Recitative and Arioso: 'Und sie sie ausgesandt' 2:13
  Solo soprano  
28 28 Recitative with Chorus: 'Da aber die Juden das Volk sah'n' 1:29
  Solo tenor, Chorus  
29 29 Chorus and Chorale: 'Ist das nicht, der zu Jerusalem' 5:12
  Chorus, Quartet  
30 30 Recitative: 'Paulus aber und Barnabas sprachen' 0:39
  Solo tenor, Paul  
31 31 Duet: 'Denn also hat uns der Herr geboten' 2:21
  Paul, Barnabas  
32 32 Recitative: 'Und es war ein Mann zu Lystra' 0:55
  Solo soprano  
33 33 Chorus: 'Die Götter sind den Menschen gleich geworden' 1:09
34 34 Recitative: 'Und nammen Barnabas Jupiter' 0:33
  Solo soprano  
35 35 Chorus: 'Seid und gnädig, hohe Götter!' 2:27
36 36 Recitative, Air and Chorus: 'Da das die Apostel hörten' 6:40
  Solo tenor, Paul, Chorus, Second sopranos  
37 37 Recitative: 'Da ward das Volk erregt wider sie' 0:15
  Solo soprano  
38 38 Chorus: 'Hier ist des Herren Tempel!' 1:44
39 39 Recitative: 'Und sie alle verfolgten Paulus' 0:32
  Solo soprano  
40 40 Cavatina: 'Sei getreu bis in den Tod' 3:15
  Solo tenor  
41 41 Recitative: 'Paulus sandte hin, und ließ fordern' 1:27
  Solo soprano, Paul  
42 42 Chorus and Recitative: 'Schone doch deiner selbst!' 3:04
  Quartet, Chorus, Paul, Solo tenor  
43 43 Chorus: 'Sehet, welch' eine Liebe' 2:34
44 44 Recitative: 'Und wenn er gleich geopfert wird' 0:58
  Solo soprano  
45 45 Chorus: 'Nicht aber ihm allein' 3:49
 Susan Gritton soprano
 Jean Rigby mezzo-soprano
 Barry Banks tenor
 Peter Coleman-Wright bass
 Richard Hickox
  Recorded live, 5 May 2000  
The successor to Richard Hickox’s highly successful recording of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

A milestone in Richard Hickox’s recording career, Paulus is a recording he regards as ‘revelatory’ and one of his finest.

The previous release, Elijah, is a ‘recommended Recording’ in the BBC Music Magazine and was declared ‘Best of the Year’ by Spain’s CD Compact.

This is Richard Hickox’s first recording with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in his capacity as Music Director and it was recorded live in Cardiff.

‘The chorus “Thou shalt not commit adultery” sounded excellent. The girls don’t understand what they’re singing about, and the married women don’t care’. Thus said Mendelssohn of a performance of Neukomm’s oratorio The Ten Commandments in September 1832. Paulus had been gestating for a couple of years and the composer was determined that in his oratorio the performers would both care and understand.

Mendelssohn’s father Abraham had urged his composer son to write an oratorio to get him away from what he saw as an obsession with sprites and goblins. Abraham died before the premiere but the responsibility the son felt towards his father expressed itself in what one can only call the ‘high moral tone’ of the work.

Paulus was first performed in Düsseldorf on 22 May 1836, with an orchestra of 172 and an amateur chorus of 364. The premiere was a complete success. Performances followed in sixty-one German cities, and over the next two years the work was heard in England, Holland, Sweden, Poland, Russia and the USA. This is all the more remarkable if we agree with the statement of one of Mendelssohn’s English biographers that throughout the work, ‘the aria is subordinated to the recitative, and the composer never swerves from his high purpose in order to conciliate popular taste’.

For Mendelssohn, born a Jew and brought up a Christian, the story of St Paul had an obvious relevance. In the saint’s words: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature – old things are passed away.’ – 2 Corinthians 5:17. The oratorio was intended as the beginning of a new path that would lead not only to an understanding of its text but also to a new dignity and position for the oratorio form and for music in general. Leon Botstein has written that ‘…Few works were as influential on the dramatic sound and rhetorical scale of early Wagner as Paulus’. One more reason for Wagner to have disowned it and one more reason for us to lament with Mendelssohn that his father never heard a work which would, the old man trusted, ‘solve the problem of combining ancient conceptions with modern means’.

‘[Richard Hickox’s Elijah] benefits in the first instance from outstanding sound, striking a near-perfect balance between soloist and choir.’
Classic CD

‘This is a more worldly, genuinely operatic Mendelssohn, not at all a pallid sermoniser – a fact clearly appreciated by the recording team.’
BBC Music Magazine

‘This is my favourite Elijah on CD’.

‘Richard Hickox’s new recording goes a very long way towards drawing our attention to an unjustly neglected work.’
The Organ

‘Best of the Year’
CD Compact (Spain)

‘Hickox shows what fresh inspiration [Elijah] contains, what a wealth of memorable ideas.’
The Penguin Complete Guide

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