A classic story retold

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By The Staff

In the Los Alamos Choral Society and Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra’s winter concert Jan. 27 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, under the direction of Mary Badarak, the Oratorio “Elijah” by Felix Mendelssohn was presented.Many members of the chorus, now numbering 61, have sung this familiar work numerous times. The chorus all wore white shirts, and the risers accommodated chairs.The performance was more than two hours long, and it was felt necessary to cut the full work down from nearly three hours and also make it tell a more coherent story, as was the composer’s interest, contrary to the wish of his pastor librettist to make it “a sermon in music.”Friction over this concept delayed the project for more than 10 years, and led to the inclusion of such movements as familiar tenor arias “ye people, rend your hearts, and not garments” and “If with all your hearts, you truly seek me,” which were omitted here as being preachy and not furthering the story.Some editing of the printed text was noticed, no doubt to make it fit on four pages of the program.The result was indeed a good story, nicely presented, with fine results all around. The large audience received it very enthusiastically.Baritone Loren Jacobsen sang the part of Elijah, and Rene LeClaire sang the tenor solos.

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