Immediately after completing “St. Paul” in 1836, Mendelssohn
mulled over the idea of composing a further oratorio. However a whole decade elapsed before the composition of “Elijah
” which takes as its theme the story of the Biblical prophet from the 1st Book of Kings. When he received the invitation to write a major work for the Birmingham Music Festival, Mendelssohn
finally embarked on work on the oratorio.