Diana Moore (mezzo-soprano)
James Oxley (tenor)
Ossian Huskinson (bass)
and Southern Pro Musica
The Dream of Gerontius was composed for the Birmingham Music Festival of 1900. Elgar took the words of the libretto from a poem by Cardinal John Henry Newman, which he said had been “soaking in my mind for at least eight years”.
The voices of the chorus and soloists interweave subtly with the instruments of a large symphony orchestra in Elgar’s dramatic work, which follows the journey of a soul passing from life to death, comforted and guided by a protective angel into purgatory with the promise of everlasting glory.
It is regarded as Elgar’s finest choral work and many consider it a masterpiece. It combines mystical, solemn, vivid orchestration and everything from majestic choral melodies to ethereal floating voices. “This is the best of me” wrote Elgar on the Score of The Dream of Gerontius. It was a ground-breaking choral work of its time and a fitting work for our return to Concert Performances in 2021.