Our musical director Thomas Leech conducts this performance of Elgar’s stunning masterpiece. BFCS is joined by Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra with whom we have collaborated many times previously, notably in performances of Britten’s War Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem and most recently Mahler’s Symphony 2.
A cast of superb soloists take the roles of Gerontius, The Angel, The Priest and The Angel of the Agony, as Cardinal Newman’s poem describes the journey of the soul into death, ending with the promise of heavenly glory:
Gerontius – Peter Davoren, tenor
The Angel – Hannah Mason, mezzo-soprano
The Priest / The Angel of the Agony – Keel Watson, bass
Elgar, a devout Catholic, embraced Newman’s poetry, responding to the text with dramatic verve and emotional nuance, written to his confidant A. J. Jaeger ‘I’m truly glad you like the thing ‘cos I’ve written it out of my insidest inside’.
There will be an interval between Part I and Part II.