A ‘lost’ cantata by Felix Mendelssohn received its first-ever public performance in the UK in York on Tuesday (12 March).

Mendelssohn’s “Greetings” or “Humboldt” Cantata was written and first performed in Berlin in 1828 for his friend the scientist Alexander von Humboldt. In the two centuries since then, it has only been performed twice – and never before in the United Kingdom.


“We played Mendelssohn’s work to commemorate Humboldt’s links with York,” said performance organiser John Bibby.

“It was a fitting historical and musical introduction to our day-school on the theme ‘York 1844 and All That’, which commemorated events in York in 1844, 175 years ago.”

Twenty speakers

The day-school featured over 20 speakers on different aspects of York in the 1840s, including health, transport and housing themes.

Speakers included Mary Marchant from Heworth who spoke on changing parish boundaries in Heworth, and Susan Major from Clements Hall Local History Group who spoke about her new book on railway excursions in York in the 1840s.

There were also servings of cake from 1840s recipes. A follow-up meeting will take place on April 16th – details below.

There are no upcoming events at this time.