Since the Old Testament was known in England through the King James Version of the Bible, he had to remain as faithful as possible to that text. This brief introduction is followed by the overture, which represents the ravages of the three-year famine on the people of Israel. Yet the composer insisted on preserving the King James translation, in deference to English tastes, rather than alter it to fit the music.
The turbulent fugue depicts the tragedy of the curse. In the ensuing plaintive chorus No. After a recitative No. He is protected by a double quartet of angels No. Once the brook dries up, one angel alto recitative tells Elijah to find a widow, who will sustain him until the end of the drought. In a moving soprano solo No. The prophet entreats God three times. In an almost operatic fashion, the music moves from the plaintive to the triumphant as the boy revives. A pastoral chorus No. The next scene begins with a restatement of the opening plague music.
He responds that the people have brought their problems on themselves by worshipping false gods. Elijah challenges the priests of the god Baal. In a duel of the gods, they pray to Baal No. Elijah mockingly demands that the priests pray louder No. Ironically, Elijah taunts them with the same musical motive they use to implore Baal No. Still there is no answer. When Baal fails to appear and to end the drought, Elijah exhorts the people of Israel to turn their prayers to the one true God No. Elijah orders the priests of Baal slain No. An alto reproaches those who have forsaken God No.
Elijah turns away from the bloodbath to join the people in praying to God No. Three times he sends a youth to see if rain clouds have appeared. Three times there are none. Finally the boy sees a little cloud in the distance. Elijah has led them to their father and hence their salvation.
The rains at last come. In the mighty final chorus of Part I No. Part II of Elijah alternates scenes that further the plot with those that present Bible passages, including sayings of the prophets. The first scene begins with a soprano aria of comfort and dignity No. Elijah accuses the king of having angered God by worshipping Baal. With mounting fury Queen Jezebel tells the people that Elijah must perish because he destroyed the priests of Baal. She even convinces the Israelites that Elijah was responsible for the famine. Elijah goes into the wilderness, where he longs for death.
An unaccompanied trio, sometimes performed by a boychoir, portrays angels comforting the prophet No. He has failed to make the people of Israel accept God. The angel returns to comfort Elijah, telling him again and again in a beautiful aria to wait for God and not be concerned with evil doers No.
The appearance of the Lord is heralded with stunning music which vividly depicts first a tempest, then an earthquake, and finally fire—in none of which can God be found No. The chorus sings of the holiness of God No. Elijah accepts God. Here ends the story of Elijah. The final chorus No. Introduction Elijah As God the Lord of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew or rain these years, but according to my word.
I Kings Overture 1. The harvest now is over, the summer days are gone, and yet no power cometh to help us! Will then the Lord be no more God in Zion? Chorus The deep affords no water, and the rivers are exhausted! I Kings ; Lamentations Soprano and Alto Zion spreadeth her hands for aid, and there is neither help nor comfort. Psalm ; Lamentations Recitative Obadiah Ye people, rend your hearts, and not your garments; for your transgressions the prophet Elijah hath sealed the heavens through the word of God.
Deuteronomy ; Job Chorus The People Yet doth the Lord see it not. He mocketh at us; His curse hath fallen down upon us; His wrath will pursue us, till He destroy us! His mercies on thousands fall—fall on all them that love Him, and keep His commandments. Deuteronomy ; Exodus ,6. Recitative An Angel Alto Elijah! There shalt thou drink its waters, and the Lord thy God hath commanded the ravens to feed thee there: so do according unto His word.
I Kings ,4. Double Quartet and Recitative Chorus For He shall give His angels charge over thee: that they shall protect thee in all the ways thou goest; that their hands shall uphold and guide thee, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
And the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. I Kings ,9, Art thou come to me to call my sin unto remembrance? To slay my son art thou come hither? Help me, man of God, my son is sick!
And his sickness is so sore that there is no breath left in him! I go mourning all the day long; I lie down and weep at night. See mine affliction. Help my son! There is no breath left in him! Elijah Give me thy son. For Thou art gracious, and full of compassion, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Lord, my God, let the spirit of this child return, that he again may live! The Widow Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that His word in thy mouth is the truth. What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits to me?
Elijah and the Widow Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, love Him with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Oh, blessed are they who fear Him! I Kings , ; Job ; Psalms , 6. Chorus Blessed are the men who fear Him: they ever walk in the ways of peace.
Through darkness riseth light to the upright. He is gracious, compassionate: He is righteous. Psalms ; ,4.
Recitative Elijah As God the Lord of Sabaoth liveth, before whom I stand: three years this day fulfilled, I will show myself unto Ahab; and the Lord will then send rain again upon the earth. Then we shall see whose god is the Lord. Elijah Rise then, ye priests of Baal; select and slay a bullock, and put no fire under it; uplift your voices, and call the god ye worship; and I then will call on the Lord Jehovah: and the god who by fire shall answer, let him be God. Elijah Call first upon your god; your numbers are many.
I, even I only remain one prophet of the Lord! Invoke your forest gods and mountain deities. I Kings , 15, , Chorus Priests of Baal Baal, we cry to thee; hear and answer us!
Heed the sacrifice we offer! Baal, oh, hear us, and answer us! Hear us Baal! Hear, mighty god!
Baal, let thy flames fall and extirpate the foe! Baal, oh, hear us!
Recitative and Chorus Elijah Call him louder, for he is a god! He talketh, or he is pursuing, or he is on a journey; or, peradventure, he sleepeth; so awaken him: call him louder. Priests of Baal Hear our cry, O Baal! Now arise! Wherefore slumber? Recitative and Chorus Elijah Call him louder! He heareth not. With knives and lancets cut yourselves after your manner; leap upon the altar ye have made: call him and prophesy! Not a voice will answer you: none will listen, none heed you. Priests of Baal Baal! Hear and answer, Baal! Mark how the scorner derideth us! Hear and answer!
Aria Elijah Draw near, all ye people, come to me! Oh, show to all this people that I have done these things according to Thy word! Oh, hear me, Lord, and answer me, and show this people that Thou art Lord God and let their hearts again be turned! I Kings , 36, Quartet Soloists Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.
He never will suffer the righteous to fall: He is at thy right hand. Thy mercy, Lord, is great, and far above the heavens. Let none be made ashamed that wait upon Thee. Psalms , , , Recitative and Chorus Elijah O Thou, who makest Thine angels spirits; Thou whose ministers are flaming fires, let them now descend! Psalm The People The fire descends from heaven; the flames consume his offering! Before Him upon your faces fall! The Lord is God: O Israel, hear! Our God is one Lord; and we will have no other gods before the Lord!
I Kings , 39; Deuteronomy , The People Take all the prophets of Baal, and let not one of them escape us; bring all, and slay them!
Aria Elijah Is not His word like a fire, and like a hammer that breaketh the rock into pieces? For God is angry with the wicked every day; and if the wicked turn not, the Lord will whet His sword; and He hath bent His bow, and made it ready. Jeremiah ; Psalm , Arioso Alto Woe unto them who forsake Him! Destruction shall fall upon them, for they have transgressed against Him. Though they are by Him redeemed, yet they have spoken falsely against Him, even from Him have they fled. Hosea Recitative Obadiah O man of God, help thy people!
Among the idols of the Gentiles, are there any that can command the rain, or cause the heavens to give their showers? The Lord our God alone can do these things. Elijah O Lord, Thou hast overthrown Thine enemies and destroyed them. Look down on us from heaven, O Lord; regard the distress of Thy people; open the heavens and send us relief: help, help Thy servant now, O God! Elijah Go up now, child, and look toward the sea. Hath my prayer been heard by the Lord? The Youth There is nothing. The heavens are as brass, they are as brass above me.
Elijah When the heavens are closed up because they have sinned against Thee, yet if they pray and confess Thy name, and turn from their sin when Thou dost afflict them, then hear from heaven, and forgive the sin! And then shall your light break forth as the light of morning breaketh: and your health shall speedily spring forth then: and the glory of the Lord ever shall reward As performed with the Brookline Chorus.
Johnathan Gibbs made a very good upload of this music at As performed by Bell'Arte Singers on February 28, at God the Lord passed by! Martin in Jackson Leung, conductor April, Chorus from "Elijah" by Felix Mendelssohn. Live recording Be Not Afraid" 4. Clair Nicholson with the Elijah, Opus 70 Felix Mendelssohn Elijah Op.
Clip from Joint Concert with Gordonstoun School Sacred Musical Festival by more than members.
Original was SATB solo voices with orchestra. One who ploughs with twelve yoke of oxen 1 Kings xix. But what is Elijah to say before and after this? Webb  some months ago, to tell him that I had already begun to work on another subject, and that I could not avail myself of his poem for that reason, much as I regretted it. Mendelssohn does not seem to have liked the implied plagiarism of "Auld Robin Gray," although he says he had an "objection" to his song "O rest in the Lord" "of another kind. Arioso Angel I : Woe unto them who forsake him!
Elijah, Felix Mendelssohn.