Elijah in Birmingham
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Mendelssohn: 15 facts about the great composer
14. Elijah in Birmingham
Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah was given its premiere in Birmingham in 1846 to an ecstatic audience of 2,000 people. It had taken him some ten years to prepare, including penning most of the libretto himself. It was very much the ‘Messiah’ of its day: hugely popular, cementing Mendelssohn’s position as one of the greatest composers of sacred music.