EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934): The Kingdom, Op. 51.
Catalogue Number: 03M049
Reference: HLD 7526
Description: Elgar's last oratorio was finished in 1906 and forms part two of a trilogy (which was not completed) with The Apostles, with which it shares some musical motifs. The composer's choral writing reached its zenith here with an apotheosis of the strength and sweetness which is his personal characteristic but the orchestral contribution is no less assured and, at points, one can feel the introspection and hints of personal crisis which led to the violin concerto and the two symphonies. Oddly, only the 19-year-old Chandos recording is still available on disc (unless you're buying a massive box-set of Elgar). 2 CDs. Texts included. Claire Rutter (soprano), Susan Bickley (mezzo), John Hudson (tenor), Iain Paterson (baritone), Hallé Choir and Orchestra; Mark Elder.