Events Southampton

📅 Elgar - Dream of Gerontius

Guildhall Southampton | 25th November 2017, 7:30pm - 9:45pm
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Admission Type: Paid

Southampton Philharmonic Choir
SU Philharmonic Choir
David Gibson conductor
John Graham Hall Gerontius
Marta Fontanals-Simmons The Angel
Nicholas Warden Priest & Angel of the Agony

Regarded by many as one of the finest works of the entire choral repertoire, Elgar’s great masterpiece was written in 1900 for the Birmingham Triennial Festival. It is a setting of Cardinal John Henry Newman’s rather controversial poem of the same title – Gerontius representing an everyman/woman character facing the end of their life and contemplating the possibility of an afterlife. Although primarily a Catholic work, the poem is just as relevant to those of other faiths and none; the meaning of life, the legacy of what we leave behind and our ultimate destiny. Elgar uses three soloists, two choirs, a large orchestra and the organ to produce an extraordinary variety of emotional and dramatic moments, from the most exultant, triumphant climaxes to passages of genuine terror and dark despair. Unlike oratorios of the 19th century which are constructed in sections or numbers, Elgar here uses a seamless 'through-composed' style that weaves  the different strands and moods together without a break. The influence of Wagner ‘s music-drama is very clear, both in the structure, the use of leitmotifs and much of the harmonic language. The result is both uplifting and thrilling for performers and listeners alike. One is left with the clear thought that it is not the doctrine that matters, but Elgar’s heartfelt expression of loss and hope in the face of our mortality. This is what makes this glorious work so inspiring.

Tickets £11, £16, £21 inc concessions

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Elgar - Dream of Gerontius

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