Elgar & Strauss

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13th February 2014
Thu 7.30pm

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Elgar & Strauss

Richard Strauss – Tod und Verklärung

Edward Elgar – The Dream of Gerontius

Royal Festival Hall, London, UK

Orchestra - Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra

Conductor - David Hill

Mezzo Soprano - Jennifer Johnston

Tenor - Andrew Staples

Baritone - Roderick Williams

Concert Synopsis

The Bach Choir is delighted to be joined, for the third time in recent years, by the exceptionally talented young musicians of Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the Choir’s Musical Director, David Hill.

Cardinal Newman’s poem The Dream of Gerontius was a well-known and much-loved work in its own right by the time Elgar came to set it to music in 1900. From that he created a masterpiece, arguably his greatest choral work – if not the greatest by any English composer.

Newman’s poem depicts the death of Gerontius and the journey of his soul towards the judgement seat of God.

The influence of German composers such as Wagner and Richard Strauss is strikingly evident in Elgar’s setting, written around ten years after the opening work of this concert, Strauss’s Tod und Verklärung. The two works have similar themes – Tod und Verklärung tells the story of a dying artist who ultimately achieves heavenly bliss – and perfectly complement each other.

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