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Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was commissioned by the city of Leipzig to write the Symphony Cantata Lobgesang for the 400th anniversary of the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg. The work was given its first performance in Leipzigs Thomaskirche on 25 June 1840. Another performance took place at the Birmingham Music Festival on 23 September 1840. The composer created a hybrid genre here, a formal designation that he took quite literally and which he used here for the first and only time: after the three symphonic movements have flowed one into the other attacca, comes the Lobgesang Cantata in several sections Alles, was Odem hat. The present Urtext edition is the first to take into account the parts which were written for the first performances in Leipzig and which help clear up a number of discrepant readings.
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