Reformations Sinfonie

Album cover art for upc 4025796017120
Catalog: VKJK 1712


Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy wrote his so-called “Reformation Symphony” in 1830, for the three hundred year anniversary of the Augsburg Confession, the profession of faith of the Lutheran churches and communities, that still applies today. He had already been carrying around his musings about arranging the Lutheran hymn “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” symphonically for some time. For this work, the composer created a symphonic model, which on the one hand emulated Beethoven, and on the other hand reached far into the future in terms of its conceptual disposition. The formal structure of the symphony stringently leads to the daring and monumental last movement – an extravagant choral arrangement of “A mighty fortress is our God.” Before this powerful finale, the first three movements seem as if they were preludes. With the version on this release, arranged by Torsten Sterzik, the work had a musical and textual extension bestowed upon it, which proceeds very sensitively, and hardly influences the musical structure. Only in the third movement does Sterzik insert two arioso solo parts, which are based on the psalm text “Herr Gott, du bist unsere Zuflucht”. Then he repeats the first part of the fourth movement – the theme of the hymn is first matched by the flute, and then taken up by the orchestra – and adds in the choir part Colla parte. Later in the fourth movement, the hymn is always heard, when the harmonic development of the original composition allows a connection with the melodic progression of the hymn “A mighty fortress is our God”. On the release at hand, this extended version in a vocal-symphonic way is recorded for the very first time. The recordings took place at Leipzig Gewandhaus, and the sheet music is published by Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden.

Price: $22.99