Felix Mendelssohn
Two Sacred Choruses:

Arranged by Ralph Sauer

Trombone quartet: 3 tenor, 1 bass

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2020



These two men's choir pieces, Op.115, were commissioned in 1837 by Dr. Johann Christian August Clarus (1774-1854), a Leipzig physician who had been appointed Rector of the University of Leipzig the previous year. They were sung at a ceremony held annually to commemorate Dr. Christian Martin Koch (1752-1803) a noted medical professor, not to be confused with the now more famous Dr. Robert Koch who in 1882 discovered the tuberculosis bacillus. Their premiere took place on February 12, 1837, with the participation of 12 members of St. Thomas Choir. They were published in 1869, more than 20 years after Mendelssohn’s death.

They are comprised of Beati mortui [Blessed are those who die in the Lord.] (2:45) in C major, and Periti autem [And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament.] (1:55) in D major. Not surprisingly, they are similar in style and there are few full measures of rest, four in the second part and only one in first. All parts are given in bass clef; first and second parts, g-a¹ and e-f-sharp¹ respectively, lie mostly above the staff. Fourth part, bass trombone, goes down to C. With no significant technical challenges, the vocal style of these pieces provides every opportunity to play really beautifully. Parts were not submitted for review.

Reviewer: Keith Davies Jones
Review Published March 13, 2021