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O Rest in The Lord - Elijah (Maid)


O Rest in the Lord - the piece of oratorio Maid sings in the Manchester Free Trade Hall, which Lindy and Anne Bellanne go to hear as Lindy's birthday treat.
O Rest In The Lord is a delightful aria, in the key of C, from the oratorio Elijah. Felix Mendelssohn based this work on Psalm 38 which he has set to music for Voice and Piano.
"O Rest in the Lord" -- is the Alto Soloist's second aria from Mendelssohn's Elijah. These are the words of an angel, who speaks to Elijah after he has run into the wilderness for a whole day. In this scene Elijah lies under a tree exhausted. He asks the Lord to take his life, because his suffering is too much to bare. Then he falls asleep. An angel appears twice -- first to wake him and give him water and a loaf of bread. Elijah falls asleep again. The angel appears for a second time to wake him again. This time the angel gives Elijah enough food so that he can survive for forty days in the wilderness. This aria refers to the second appearance of the angel. The angel is encouraging Elijah here, so that not only will he have enough food for his forty days of travelling in the wilderness, but that he will also have the spiritual strength to persevere his sadness at that moment.

Here is an English translation of the opening phrases:

"O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for him
and he will give you your heart's desires..."

If you want to hear a version of the song - and maybe get an idea of how Maid might have sounded - there is a version available on you tube
and if you want to follow with the score - it can be found at:
   O Rest in the Lord (No.31 from'Elijah') (Felix_Mendelssohn)
Futher information - including cast list (Maid is the alto angel rather than Jezebel which is the other main alto part! whilst - Lindy is obviously destined to be the soprano angel - again in preference to the Widow or the Youth!) can be found at http://classicalmusic.suite101.com/article.cfm/felix_mendelssohns_elijah
One further point - interestingly Mendelssohn was reported to have written Elijah with Jenny Lind in mind for the main soprano role. Inevitable association here with Lindy Bellanne.