Reformation clarification; Letters.
I DID not go to the concert at Sage Gateshead that you reviewed. (Culture, Tuesday's Journal). I think I was put off by the thought of what Arvo Part might do to the music of J S Bach.
But your remarks about Mendelssohn's "Reformation" Symphony need clarification. It was actually the second symphony by Mendelssohn, but published after his death. It was written in 1830 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Reformation in which Martin Luther was a major figure.
The hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" was composed by Luther and its quotation in the symphony's final movement is a reference to him and his importance in the Reformation.
Bach did indeed later use the hymn tune in his cantatas, and to British ears, which rarely hear the original hymn, these may be the immediate connections made, but it was to Luther that Mendelssohn was making reference in the symphony.
Henry Shipley Hexham, Northumberland