Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Edward Elgar, Richard Hickox, London Symphony Chorus|
Elgar: The Apostles, Op. 49
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Fine performances of a worthy work
G.D. | Norway | 02/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Elgar's large-scale biblical oratorio "The Apostles" isn't quite on the same level as "The Dream of Gerontius"; it is structurally less coherent than, say, "The Kingdom", and the style is not as immediately appealing as in, say, his large-scale dramatic cantata "Caractatus" - it is drier, more conservative, stodgier; "worthy" is perhaps the most apposite description. Still, there are moments of genuine inspiration here, and no one who appreciates Elgar's music in general would want to be without it. The other main competitor in the catalogue is Boult's 1973 recording on EMI. I haven't heard that one (reviewers tend to favor it by a small margin to this one - because of Boult; the singers on the Chandos version are in the end often considered superior), but the full and clear Chandos-sound, especially the way it serves to underline the climaxes, should at least be a point of consideration as well. I am not at all familiar with the more recent recording under Cooke.
The performances are indeed very fine and the soloists very good; Robert Lloyd as Judas should in particular be pointed out (since Judas in general is allotted much of the best music apart from the choral scenes). Stephen Roberts, Alison Hargan and Alfreda Hodgson give for the most part sensitive portrayals, but Bryn Terfel steals the showhere as St Peter - he really does give us a committed and splendidly sung performance. Nothing to complain about with regards to the chorus or orchestra either, so this one can be safely recommended to anyone who doesn't expect another Gerontius."