Elgar - Dream of Gerontius, Sea Pictures
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Cat No: CHSA51402
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 29th September 2014
ArtistsSarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano)
Stuart Skelton (tenor)
David Soar (bass)
BBC Symphony Chorus
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Chandos Records is delighted to present this new recording of Elgarís choral masterpiece The Dream of Gerontius and the enduringly popular song cycle Sea Pictures.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus are conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, a peerless Elgarian who this year was awarded the prestigious Elgar Society Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the composerís music.
In Gerontius the soloists are Stuart Skelton, David Soar and Sarah Connolly, who also sings in Sea Pictures. This recording was made in the days leading up to their triumphant live performance of Gerontius in April 2014 in which Skelton was praised as Ďthe ideal tenor for the role of Gerontiusí, Soar described as Ďan implacable, darksounding Priestí and Connolly, Ďa consummately polished Angelí (The Guardian).
Elgarís Dream of Gerontius was commissioned in 1900 for that yearís Birmingham Festival. The score was produced in a hurry but Elgar had long before known the text which the work sets, Cardinal Newmanís religious poem that powerfully recounts the final dream of a dying believer and the journey of his soul through death. The performers struggled with Elgarís score at the disastrous premier but this did nothing to stop the immediate popularity of The Dream of Gerontius. It is recognised today by many as the greatest choral work by any English composer.
Written not long before Gerontius, Sea Pictures sets a collection of poetry by different authors all on a single theme. Inspired by his love of nature, Elgarís songs explore the emotional resonances of the sea, from serene still waters to a mighty ocean storm.
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