Felix Mendelssohn

Hear My Prayer ("O for the wings of a dove"), hymn for soprano, chorus & organ or orchestra in G major

    Description by John Palmer

    Hör' mein Bitten (Hear My Prayer) was completed on January 25, 1844, and published in Berlin, with no date. The piece is arranged for soprano solo with four-part mixed chorus and organ accompaniment. Hear My Prayer has become very popular, although it is not as delicately written as many of Mendelssohn's other choral works.

    Mendelssohn sets the prayer, in which the petitioner calls upon his Lord to protect him from his enemies, in two large parts, each with subsections. The solo soprano, with organ accompaniment, opens the work, the falling vocal line reflecting the text of the first line: "Hör' mein Bitten, Herr, neige dich zu mir" (Hear my prayer, Lord, come down to me). As the melody becomes transformed, the music touches on G minor, where the first part eventually settles. After the soprano repeats her first line, the chorus enters with homophonic repetitions of the soprano's text. At "Die Feinde droh'n," Mendelssohn increases the intensity by shifting to 3/8 meter and increasing the tempo. As the harmony moves away from G major the entries in the chorus become imitative, creating a thicker texture until the motion stops and the soprano begins a recitative. A final choral outburst, on G minor, introduces the second part of the piece, opened, once again, by the soprano.

    Mendelssohn again reflects the meaning of the text by using fluid triplets to set "O könnt' ich fliegen wie Tauben dahin" (Oh, if I could fly there like doves). As in the first section, the chorus responds, but their part is more polyphonic and the organ part much simpler. The soprano soloist sings throughout this harmonically conservative section, in which the triplets in the solo part contrast with the regular rhythms in the chorus.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Decca B002645602
    2017 Classic FM / Decca 4831531
    2016 Gothic Records G 49298
    2015 ABC Classics ABC 4824142
    2015 Tudor Records TUD 7203
    2015 Alto MCSCD 1270
    2015 Bergen Digital / Bergen Digital Studio BD 7052
    2015 King's College Choir KGS 0011
    2015 Orchid Classics ORC 100046
    2015 Chandos CHAN 10872
    2014 Universal Distribution
    2014 ABC Classics 4809113
    2013 Hyperion CDH 55445
    2012 Warner Classics 667006
    2012 Regent REGCD 376
    2012 LIR Classics LIR 026
    2012 Heritage HTGCD 239
    2012 Decca
    2012 USM Media USMMTCD 029
    2012 Warner Classics
    2012 Naxos 8572836
    2012 Warner Music
    2012 ABC Classics ABC 4806690
    2012 EMI Classics
    2011 Regis / Regis Records RRC 1379
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099994850
    2011 Lawo Classics LWC 1004
    2011 Regent REGCD344
    2011 Varèse Sarabande 3020670932
    2010 Decca SPECXX 2030
    2010 Warner Classics
    2010 Decca 438 871-2PH
    2010 Regent 329
    2009 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 2642292
    2009 Sony BMG / Sony Classical 7532082
    2009 EMI Classics / EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5099996426
    2009 Sony Music Entertainment 88697420722
    2009 Guild 7325
    2008 Signum UK 115
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93672
    2008 Delos 6011
    2008 Wcj 2564 69349-3
    2008 Union Square Music / Union Squarte METRCD 229
    2007 Music Club Deluxe MCDLX 089
    2007 ASV / Resonance CDRSN3091
    2007 Guild 7308
    2007 Naxos / Naxos Nostalgia 8120569
    2007 EMI Classics 3873582
    2006 Naxos 8557493
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99997
    2006 Hyperion CDA67558
    2006 Chandos CHAN10363
    2006 Priory Records 861
    2006 Universal Distribution / UCJ / Universal International 4763107
    2006 Priory Records 724
    2005 Sain SCDC 2095
    2005 Marquis Classics 81341
    2005 Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 384
    2004 Virgin Classics 62331
    2004 Delos DE3300
    2004 Sain / Sain Wales SCD 2426
    2004 Brilliant 92393
    2004 Sanctuary Records 3017
    2003 Pearl / Pearl/Pavilion 0204
    2003 Classical Express 3951142
    2002 Pearl GEM 0145
    2002 Carus 83101
    2001 St. Clair 7312
    2001 Gothic Records 49124
    2000 Castle Music Ltd. 517/5
    2000 Erato 4295882
    1999 Jvc Victor / Victor Records 60517
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 573 422-2
    1998 Nimbus 5529
    1998 Naxos 8 553876
    1998 Decca 4600212
    1997 Symposium SYMCD1222
    1997 Erato 630146342
    1997 Conifer 75605 51308-2
    1997 EMI Music Distribution 562259
    1996 Metronome 1016
    1995 Carlton 2021
    1995 Capriccio Records 10367
    1994 Conifer 16851
    1994 Koch Schwann 310432
    1994 Symposium 1136
    1993 Meridian Records 84025
    1993 ASV CDQS 6019
    1993 Pearl 9388
    1993 Decca 4364042
    1992 Harmonia Mundi 1901142
    1992 Chandos Collect / Chandos CHAN6519
    1992 Deutsche Grammophon 435387
    1991 Hyperion 66439
    1991 EMI Music Distribution 54098
    1990 London 421029
    1990 Hyperion 66359
    ASV 5112
    Music for Leisure 002
    Coro Polifonico & Orchestra La
    ABC Classics 4763685
    London 4336852
    Querstand 9709
    Brilliant Classics 99997/4
    Brilliant 92393/29
    Brilliant Classics 93672/29
    Reader's Digest Music 371376