The Elgar is the opener, I think, which our conductor picked because he likes Elgar ("sometimes I like the sweet stuff") and "to show off how good we sound."
The commission, by Roxana Panufnik, has text from both 1 Corinthians in the Bible and a translation from the poet Rumi. The Corinthians one ("If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal....") was chosen by the man who donated the commission, which is in memory of his wife, one of our singers who died some years ago. I sat by her, my first two or three years with the choir, and as we worked on the piece, which is loaded up with mixed Major and minor triads, I laughed to think how she would have bitched and complained about the difficult alto part. The composer chose the Rumi poem, "Love is the Master."
The Mendelssohn has what amounts to a whole orchestral movement before the choir comes in for several movements that form a cantata. We sightread a nice fast movement at full speed last night, spitting German in every direction, whee! like riding a rollercoaster for someone who likes riding rollercoasters who is not me, but I liked this a lot! And then the chorale that followed it.
I left excited about the upcoming concert.