For this week’s Communion voluntary, I will play Andante religioso from Mendelssohn’s Fourth Sonata for Organ.
Mendelssohn was born in 1809 to a prominent Jewish family, but the role of Judaism did not figure prominently in his upbringing. At age seven he was baptized as a Reformed Christian and adopted the surname Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Mendelssohn was recognized at an early age for his great musical talent, but his parents were cautious not to exploit his gifts.
Mendelssohn is remembered as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic period. He wrote numerous symphonies and other orchestral scores, and is perhaps best known for his musical setting of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He also wrote many works for keyboard, including six sonatas for organ.
This week’s voluntary is from Mendelssohn’s Fourth Organ Sonata. A sonata is an instrumental work with numerous, often contrasting, sections called movements. Andante religioso is the middle movement of this work, written as a purposeful contrast to both the first and final movements of the sonata.
Enjoy the music this weekend - and until we meet again, take care and stay well!