Composer:   Felix Mendelssohn
Arranger:   Greg Smith
Publisher:   Walton Music Corp.
Edition:   2163
Voicing:   SATB div
Setting:   A Cappella


Harry A. Mechell
Winona State University 1991
R&R Chair College & University

“Heilig” is one of three sacred pieces by Mendelssohn without opus number. Obvious is the influence of English Cathedral style with the juxtaposed double-chorus writing and the Anglican text; although, of course, the preferable language is German. This motet is throughcomposed, a cappella, and homophonic throughout. The harmonic construction on falling 3rds at the beginning is very effective and the tessituras and ranges are very comfortable. Mendelssohn provided ample opportunity for dynamic and textural contrast. The antiphonal choral entrances are often linked by a pedal tone provided by one vocal section or another. At the conclusion, choral entrances, again in 3rds, usher in the final exultant choral chords. This is a lovely setting, very regal and majestic, which lends itself well to being performed while encircling the audience.