Inspiration for The Apostles came at an early age for Elgar who, as a child, was fascinated to learn about Christ’s disciples, ordinary men who witness the most extraordinary events. A commission from the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival gave him the opportunity to explore this theme and in 1903 Elgar wrote The Apostles, the first in a planned trilogy of works depicting the lives of Jesus’ disciples (the third, intended to follow The Kingdom, never materialised). A narrative work, it deals with the calling of the disciples and their experiences of Jesus’ preaching, miracles, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.
An expansive oratorio, The Apostles calls for six soloists, lavish orchestration, and large chorus.Read more Although often overshadowed by The Dream of Gerontius, written shortly before, it contains some of Elgar’s most inspired music, particularly in the dramatic portrayal of Judas and in the exalted, moving finale.
Richard Hickox, a true champion of British music, conducts the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. The two most prominent roles, Mary Magdalene and Judas, are sung by Alfreda Hodgson and Robert Lloyd, respectively. The recording also features an outstanding performance from a young Bryn Terfel as Peter. The set is released as part of the Richard Hickox Legacy series. Read less
Works on This Recording
The Apostles, Op. 49by Sir Edward Elgar Performer:
Alison Hargan (Soprano),
Alfreda Hodgson (Alto),
David Rendall (Tenor),
Stephen Roberts (Baritone),
Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone),
Robert Lloyd (Bass)
London Symphony Orchestra,
London Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic Written: 1902-1903; England
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
An Epic Masterwork.November 21, 2014By JOSEPH ERDELJAC (WEST CHESTER, PA)See All My Reviews"In this recording of The Apostles we are exposed to the depth and breath of Elgar's creative spirit. His music is fully English but with a reverence for the Wagnerian. Here we have a work that is deeply vast and moving. Credit must go not just to Elgar for the creation of this epic work but also to Richard Hickox for his masterful command of the music and of the huge forces necessary to present this work. The soloists are well chosen and suited to their roles and the chorus and orchestra are exemplary in their performance under Hickox's leadership. This is a welcome addition to the library of great English music and composers."Report Abuse