“I love Mendelssohn as a composer because he forges a link with Bach and Handel, while his later works also point far into the future.” Thomas Hengelbrock’s declaration of his love for Mendelssohn lends a very personal note to his work on Elijah. With his Balthasar Neumann Ensemble and Choir he has given a historically informed performance that includes a CD recording and that provides striking proof of his enthusiasm for the piece. “Elijah has so many moments of pure magic; the Old Testament drama has been set to music in such a highly imaginative way.”


“It is hard to imagine a more eloquent, dramatic and gripping performance of Elijah, and if there were times when the work sounded like Bach, then this should be seen as a compliment. Both choir and orchestra moved with remarkable agility and offered a beguiling range of subtle nuances, in addition to which the outstanding team of soloists left nothing to be desired, headed by Michael Nagy as an Elijah whose words were always intelligible and whose characterization combined humanity with authority. Equally magnificent were the passages cast from members of the choir.” STUTTGARTER NACHRICHTEN

“The first night in the Dortmund Konzerthaus was so sensational that by a stroke of luck it was recorded live for a CD release.” RUHR NACHRICHTEN

“The silence after the last chord lasted for longer than usual. It needed time for the tension to find release. Then the applause broke out – as powerful as the rain that Mendelssohn sends to the people of Israel with his string arpeggios and drumrolls. Hengelbrock’s experience was palpable in every bar: his interpretation of the text is probing and highly dramatic. The brass rang out without sounding strident, the woodwinds were more mellow than usual, the strings more rough-toned.” NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG

“The choir is a force to be reckoned with. Supremely dramatic, it articulates the words clearly, celebrating every shifting mood. And the smaller ensembles that from time to time emerge from the choir sound as pure as they are outstanding. Such a vivid interpretation conjures up the events of the narrative and allows us to see them with our very own eyes.” WESTDEUTSCHE ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG


Genia Kühmeier Soprano
Ann Hallenberg Alt
Lothar Odinius Tenor
Michel Nagy Bariton

Balthasar Neumann Choir and soloists
Balthasar Neumann Ensemble
Thomas Hengelbrock Concept, Stage and Musical Direction


Baden-Baden, Dortmund