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Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius

  • Catalogue Number LSO0083
    UPC 822231108320

    James Mallinson producer
    Jonathan Stokes and Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd sound engineers

    Recorded December 2005, Barbican, London

    DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
    Notes in English / en Francais / auf Deutsch

  • 'This new recording from the LSO and Sir Colin Davis is so detailed in its emotional responses - so magical is Davis's phrasing that there are times that one dare not breathe for fear of breaking the spell ... All three soloists are interpretatively and tonally arresting ... Davis's chorus and orchestra are really something special.' International Record Review

    'In charge of his eloquent LSO forces, Colin Davis delivers this performance with passionate engagement, bringing to it an elemental sweep and dynamism on the one hand and spiritual tenderness on the other. Fine solo contributions from David Rendall's intensely vulnerable Gerontius, Alastair Miles forthright Priest and Anne Sofie von Otter's consoling Angel.' The Observer

    'Colin Davis and his LSO forces deliver a powerful, exciting, totally committed performance from first note to last. Davis obviously, and to his credit, takes the music as seriously as did Elgar himself. Tempos are admirably swift, the demons aptly scary, and the whole buildup to the great Praise to the Holiest chorus is stupendous. The opening of Part Two steals in with positively sublime discretion and sensitivity, a tribute to Davis's keen attention to dynamics and phrasing ... The sonics are also among the finest to come from this source, with excellent balances between choir and orchestra and plenty of impact.' ClassicsToday.com

    'Colin Davis's conducting is superb and the strings sound particularly luminous in the ecstatic sections; he also pulls the dramatic tension up to ever greater heights as the Soul both fears and hopes to meet God ... [Anne Sofie von Otter's] gorgeous performance is worth the price of the disc alone.' Metro

    'Davis responds magnificently ... tapping the music's drama while dwelling on it's tender heart.' Daily Telegraph

    'Now in the absolute prime of his artistry, Davis adds his always visceral style to the atmosphere of the piece ... The direction of both orchestra and chorus is exceptionally nuanced, whilst all three soloists are dedicated to their task, creating a unified interpretation ... his [David Rendall's] sense of the text is excellent. Prayerful in the opening statement, he becomes gradually more agonised in the Sanctus before his soul goes on its unknown journey in Part 2 ... As descendants of the English choral tradition we want to be overwhelmed by the power of massed voices in this work, and the LSC does not disappoint ... it's a recording for all concerned to be proud of. But the laurels go to Davis for his inspired reading.' MusicOMH.com

    'For Davis Elgar is a European composer, and the links to Wagner are made succently clear ... Davis is the star: guiding shaping, enhancing the beauty and the flow.' The Times

    'Colin Davis's Elgar always has something to say ... the LSO chorus are magnificent.' The Guardian

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Sir Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra


Elgar's Dream of Gerontius was thought by many to be outlandishly modern at the time of its completion in 1900. Telling the story of the journey of a dying man's soul into the afterlife, the subject originally caused uproar within the English church yet is now acclaimed as one of the great choral masterpieces and one of Elgar's most popular works.


Composer   Elgar
Conductor   Sir Colin Davis
Performers   London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra
Soloists   David Rendall, Anne Sofie von Otter, Alastair Miles

Track list
Disc 1
1. The Dream of Gerontius: Prelude to Part One
2. The Dream of Gerontius: "Jesu, Maria - I Am Near to Death"
3. The Dream of Gerontius: "Kyrie Eleison... Holy Mary, Pray for Him"
4. The Dream of Gerontius: "Rouse Thee, My Fainting Soul"
5. The Dream of Gerontius: "Be Merciful, Be Gracious"
6. The Dream of Gerontius: "Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Deus"
7. The Dream of Gerontius: "I Can No More"
8. The Dream of Gerontius: "Rescue Him, O Lord"
9. The Dream of Gerontius: "Novissima Hora Est"
10. The Dream of Gerontius: "Profisciscere, Anima Christiana"
11. The Dream of Gerontius: "Go, In the Name of Angels and Archangels"

Disc 2
1. The Dream of Gerontius: "Prelude to Part Two"
2. The Dream of Gerontius: "I Went to Sleep"
3. The Dream of Gerontius: "My Work Is Done"
4. The Dream of Gerontius: "Low-born Clods of Brute Earth"
5. The Dream of Gerontius: "The Mind Bold and Independent"
6. The Dream of Gerontius: "I See Not Those False Spirits"
7. The Dream of Gerontius: "Praise to the Holiest"
8. The Dream of Gerontius: "Glory to Him"
9. The Dream of Gerontius: "But Hark! a Grand Mysterious Harmony"
10. The Dream of Gerontius: "And Now the Threshold As We Traverse It"
11. The Dream of Gerontius: "Praise to the Holiest In the Height"
12. The Dream of Gerontius: "Thy Judgment Is Now Near"
13. The Dream of Gerontius: "Jesu! By That Shuddering Dread"
14. The Dream of Gerontius: "Praise to His Name"
15. The Dream of Gerontius: "Take Me Away"
16. The Dream of Gerontius: "Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge"
17. The Dream of Gerontius: "Softly and Gently, Dearly-ransomed Soul"

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