One can truly say that Mendelssohn's St. Paul oratorio is a genuine "work in progress" - such as one finds repeatedly in the composer's works. After the world premiere in Düsseldorf in 1836, the composer sighed: "Since I changed a number of things after the performance, notably in the recitatives, and omitted a few pieces entirely, I really don’t know how these changes can be made in the quartet parts that have already been engraved.”
Luckily, the score had not yet been printed at this point in time. It was published not long afterwards (1837) and served as the basis for the old Complete Edition, where, however, it was mixed together with other sources.
Michael Märker's present Urtext edition uses the first edition of the score as the main source for the first time. Its inconsistencies were emended by the editor in agreement with other contemporary sources.
"By forgoing the version transmitted by Julius Rietz (1878), on which all later reprintings were based, in favor of the score of the first edition of 1835, which was personally supervised by the composer, a new Paulus has come to light: freed from a number of conventionalizing, adulterating retouchings, at times more angular in detail and thus more characteristic." (Michael Märker about his New Edition, 1997)
Orchestration: solos: SATBB – choir: SSAATB – 18.104.22.168.dble bsn.serp. – 22.214.171.124. – timp – org – str