Lauda Sion, Op. 73 (Felix Mendelssohn)

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  • (Posted 2015-12-07)   CPDL #37783:  Network.png
Contributor: Paolo Pandolfo (submitted 2015-12-07).  Score information: A4, 49 pages, 3.42 MB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: scanned score from IMSLP

Separate Movements

1. Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem (SATB)

  • CPDL #28910:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2013-04-27).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 113 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard version of the original accompaniment. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • CPDL #15544:       
Editor: Claude Tallet (submitted 2007-11-27).   Score information: A4, 18 pages, 422 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:Includes a keyboard version of the original accompaniment. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

2. Laudis thema specialis (SATB)

  • CPDL #15545:       
Editor: Claude Tallet (submitted 2007-11-27).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 117 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

3. Sit laus plena (S solo + SATB)

  • CPDL #15546:       
Editor: Claude Tallet (submitted 2007-11-27).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 90 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

4. In hac mensa novi Regis (SATB soli)

  • CPDL #15547:       
Editor: Claude Tallet (submitted 2007-11-27).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 150 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

5. Docti sacris institutis (SATB)

  • CPDL #15554:     ]  
Editor: Claude Tallet (submitted 2007-11-27).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 102 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

6. Caro cibus, sanguis potus (S solo)

  • CPDL #15557:       
Editor: Claude Tallet (submitted 2007-11-27).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 82 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard version of the original accompaniment. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

7. Sumit unus, sumunt mille (SATB soli + SATB)

  • CPDL #15617:       
Editor: Claude Tallet (submitted 2007-11-27).   Score information: A4, 48 pages, 440 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard version of the original accompaniment. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
Bone Pastor (last part of 7.)
  • CPDL #28944:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2013-04-29).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 91 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard version of the original accompaniment. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Lauda Sion, Op. 73
Composer: Felix Mendelssohn

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB with solo SATB
Genre: SacredOratorioEucharistic songSequence hymn for Corpus Christi

Language: Latin
Instruments: Orchestra: 2222 – 2230 – timp, str

Published: 1847

Description:

The following is translated from: Wilhelm Adolf Lampadius, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Leipzig: Leuckart, 1886.

When, in 1846, the 600th anniversary celebration of the introduction of the Feast of Corpus Christi was to be celebrated in Liège, this celebration was of great importance, not only for Liège, but for the whole of Catholic Belgium and the Rhineland. They wanted to particularly glorify it, and therefore invited the greatest of the then-living musicians to a new composition of Lauda Sion. Although occupied with the accomplishment of his Elijah, Mendelssohn solved this task in an admirable manner, and gave a proof of his extraordinary artistic objectivity, by creating a work entirely analogous to the Catholic feeling. In the strictest style of the church, as hardly any other work of M., but not without great loveliness and soothing variety, it is a surprising testimony to the master of all kinds.

He very appropriately divided the long sequence of 23 three- and four-line verses into eight rather even sections, in which choruses alternate with solis and quartets with and without chorus, but all in an ongoing context. After a short introduction, an Andante maestoso in the solemn C major, in which the damped trombones make a very beautiful effect, follows a simple, bright and joyful chorus in the same key, No. 1 “Lauda Sion Salvatorem”, wich is only more intricately interwoven by the "Quantum potes, tantum aude" (as much as you can, so much dare to praise the Savior) began by the soprano. This is followed by the second chorus, which indicates the real purpose of the feast, the special theme of praise "the divine bread of life, which is presented today", alternating firstly from basses and tenors, then from the sopranos and the altos, and in the second part sung in united harmony. The key is the mysterious lugubrious C minor.

No. 3 a lovely simple Soprano solo e Choro; the former in A flat major and F minor reiterates once more a full, sonorous praise and a graceful, chaste joy of the heart; the latter, the chorus, gives, in a strange recitativo unisono, quasi parlando of the basses and tenors, the reason for this: "For this is the solemn day which records the origin of the glorious Eucharist." This chorus ends in a very frappant manner in D major, leading to the beautiful quartet No. 4 in G major, which celebrates the victory of the new Paschal over the old rite, the light over the night, the new king over the old law, in artistique intertwines, and at last adds the command of Christ to commit the meal to his memory.

The following chorus, No. 5, "Docti sacris institutis," in A minor, the first two verses in unison, the last in harmony, expresses the full confidence of the Catholic faith in the dogma, the transubstantiation, so incomprehensible may be in the understanding, and in the last movement, with very energetic and splendid instrumentation, points to the res eximiae, the mighty things hidden under the form of bread and wine. This is followed by No. 6, a Soprano Solo in F major, extremely sweet and intimate, which represents the faithful confidence of the individual soul, that the bread is really the body, the wine really the blood, and in both forms the whole Christ is undivided.

In No. 7 (F major), the choir reappears in unison, confirms the dogma expressed by the individual believing soul, and then describes the different effects of the consumption of the Holy Body, which leads the evil to death, the good to life. This choir has very great moments, in character similar to the "Tuba mirum spargens sonum" in Mozart's Requiem. Particularly powerful is the "Fracto demum sacramento" in clear B flat major, with choir and orchestra alternating in short phrases.

Finally, a quartet with chorus in C major follows up, not specified by a special number, which first takes up the tune of the beginning of the whole of the music in the "Ecce panis angelorum", and thus indicates the intimate connection between Lauda Sion and the panis angelorum (Bread of the Angels), but then depicts, in the most exquisite harmony and melody, the efficacy of Christ as the good shepherd, the protector of his own, who lets them see much good in the Land of the Living. The composition of the last verse "Tu, qui cuncta scis et vales" is interestingly modulated to D flat major; then the phrase "Bone pastor, panis vere" follows again. This phrase, in which the fixed pedal point in G with the theme built on it, is of a particularly beautiful musical effect, has a fine pastoral color, according to the material treated. The whole concludes with a simple, gentle soothing Amen.

Hopefully, it has already become clear from this account how interesting M. has been able to even deal with such a peculiar, and one might say, monotonous material. The instrumentation, as a matter of course with him, is perfectly appropriate, wisely economical, but at the proper places of appropriate effect. The outcome in the church, in front of a lot of faithful Catholics, must have been extraordinary; but also in the concert hall the work makes a most beneficial impression on every art-minded listener, no matter what confession he or she belongs to, thanks to his rich harmonious and melodic beauties. It belongs to the best that Mendelssohn created. M., by the way, did not direct the music himself. He described the means which the bishops had granted to be very deficient, but he was very amused when listening, and could now imagine exactly how his Lauda Sion would sound at a good performance.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at Lauda Sion Salvatorem.