Felix Mendelssohn was known for a flowing, lyrical style in all of his works. His oratorio "Saint Paul" stands as a singularly wonderful showcase for his talent as a composer.
The arioso "But the Lord is Mindful of His Own" is a tremendous comfort, and coming as it does between Saul "breathing threats and murder" and the conversion of Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus, it reminds us that no matter how bad things get, God has a plan.
The lyric has only two lines, repeated several times: "But the Lord is mindful of His own, He remembers His children. Bow down before Him, ye mighty, for the Lord is near us."
The piece is rather short, but it lingers in the memory for both its tremendous message and its inimitable beauty. The range is only an octave and a half, from a low A to a D, but if the one occurrence of the low A is worked around by popping it up an octave (this is quite often done, even by professionals, and detracts not at all from the flow of the piece) then the range becomes only a ninth, which makes this one of the most singable pieces of classic vocal literature.
If the low A workaround is done, this piece works very well for a children's choir singing in unison. In fact, that is where I first encountered it, at the age of nine, as a boy soprano. This little song has since held its own spot in my heart.
MP3 sound sample: Morris Nilsen Minneapolis Boys Choir, 1969, Director: David S. Van Fleet, Piano: Ann Ransom
BUT THE LORD IS MINDUL OF HIS OWN by Felix Mendelssohn, an alto solo with piano accompaniment, is presented for download as a pdf file of 880K, four pages of music plus a license page. Performance time will be approximately two minutes.
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Last update: 27 September 2017