Friday, December 09, 2005
Mendelssohn: the Hymn of Praise
While not the most impressive or significant of Mendelssohn's creations, it exhibits many traits of great beauty and vigor, and testifies in its own way to the originality and power of his genius. The three instrumental numbers which precede the Cantata scarcely attain to the dignity of the symphonic ideal. The first Movement is a sonata-allegro form with independent Introduction. The second (connected with the preceding) is an Allegretto of touching melodic beauty, suggestive of the Songs Without Words; it is a Song-form with Trio, and the Trio is an original chorale-melody, quaintly interwoven with fragments of the principal Division. An atmosphere of melancholy, not altogether consistent with the character of a Hymn of Praise, pervades this Movement, and also the next, which is an Adagio religioso that does not at any point rise above the level of a Song Without Words.