Elgar - The Dream of Gerontius
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Cat No: MELCD1002266
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 2nd February 2015
ArtistsArthur Davies (tenor)
Felicity Palmer (mezzo-soprano)
Norman Bailey (baritone)
Oleg Yanchenko (organ)
London Symphony Chorus
USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Edward Elgar was one of the major representatives of British music from the period of English music renaissance. Continuing the traditions of European, primarily German musical romanticism, he embodied the most distinctive features of national culture in his works. Elgarís genius manifested itself in a most complete fashion in symphonic and choral genres.
The Dream of Gerontius (1900), often referred to as an oratorio, is Elgarís largest composition. The poem by Cardinal John Henry Newman, an important figure in the Church of England, thinker and poet, about a journey of a soul after death was a literary foundation of the oratorio. A deeply spiritual and religious content of the oratorio, plenty of dramatic and vivid episodes, a developed vocal and choral texture, and masterful grasp of orchestral colours made it one of the most popular works of British music along with Handelís Messiah.
Evgeny Svetlanov, who is traditionally considered an unsurpassed performer of Russian symphonic and operatic music, not infrequently made himself known as an outstanding and inspired interpreter of West European music works. Thanks to him, some of them were performed in the former USSR for the first time. That was the case with The Dream of Gerontius, which the conductor heard in England and was amazed by its power and grandeur. It was performed with great success at the Big Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in 1983 with the participation of well-known British soloists Felicity Palmer, Arthur Davies and Norman Bailey, the London Symphony Chorus conducted by Richard Hickox and the USSR State Academic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Evgeny Svetlanov.
We present a recording of that performance.
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