Volume 3 of the MDR Klassik CD series presents Mendelssohn’s incidental music to the drama Oedipus at Colonus Op.93. Like the previous releases, Athalia (MDR1201) and Antigone (MDR1202), this live recording was made to mark the 200th birthday of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in 2009. The intention of Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) and its Symphonic Orchestra and Choir was to draw attention to his all too seldom performed incidental music.
Setting Sophocles’s tragedy to music was a fairly easy matter for Mendelssohn, his perfect knowledge of Ancient Greek making strict adherence to the classical metres no compositional obstacle for him. He enthusiastically wrote to his friend the historian Johann Gustav Droysen in 1841 “The mood and verse rhythms are so truly musical throughout that I do not need to consider the individual worlds and only have to set those moods and rythms to music, then the chorus is ready”
The recording is based on a text version which impressively elucidates Mendelssohn’s approach to the dramatic genre. It was derived from Johann Jakob Christian Donner’s translations of Sophocles by Gerhard Lobling, dramatic producer of the MDR Concerts and initiator of the concert.
Live recording from the concert on 7 April 2009 in Main Auditorium of the New Gewandhaus in Leipzig.
Booklet: German, English, 36 pp
Total time: 78’34”