Symphony, cantata, or oratorio? The Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise), commissioned by the city of Leipzig from its Kapellmeister
Mendelssohn to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the invention of printing in 1840, has elements of all three categories.
But, at the opposite pole from Beethoven's Ninth, we have here a symphonic miniature in three movements, intended to act
as the overture to the sung part of the work, which is twice as long. Thus this splendid 'Symphony-Cantata' expands into a
sweeping vocal and choral epic.