This chapter discusses Felix Mendelssohn's second major oratorio, Elias or Elijah. First performed in 1846, shortly before Mendelssohn's death, Elias is often interpreted as a profession of Mendelssohn's residual Jewish faith, given its Old Testament subject matter. This chapter demonstrates, however, that Elias, like Mendelssohn's Mose libretto, is a profoundly Christological work, as the life of the Biblical Elijah has been reshaped to mimic more closely the life of Christ. While not a Jewish work per se, Elijah lacks the blatant anti-Semitism found in Mendelssohn's earlier oratorio, Paulus, suggesting again that Mendelssohn tempered the anti-Semitism in his works after the death of his father, Abraham Mendelssohn.
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