Search - Edward Elgar, Richard Hickox, Felicity Palmer :: Elgar: The Kingdom

Elgar: The Kingdom
Edward Elgar, Richard Hickox, Felicity Palmer
Elgar: The Kingdom
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #2


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The British Way with Choral Music
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sir Edward Elgar composed some sustainable jewels in his lifetime: the 'Enigma Variations', the cello concerto, the Second Symphony, and yes, the globally overused 'Pomp and Circumstance' marches. Some say the rest of his output is minor, but it takes a recording such as this of one of his oratorios (the 'Dream of Gerontius' is more popular) entitled 'The Kingdom' to remind us what a great orchestrator Elgar was and how well he wrote for the voice.

'The Kingdom' is a major work for large orchestra, full chorus, and four soloists. Based on biblical texts the work surveys the concept of hope and promise as found in the Gospels. In this performance Richard Hickox conducts the London Symphony Orchestra and chorus with a fine group of soloists - Felicity Palmer, Margaret Mitchell, Arthur Davies, and David Wilson-Johnson - each of whom enunciates the text perfectly and each has a rich soaring voice. The structure of the work is massive but there are moments where the beauty of lines such as Elgar composed in the Nimrod variation from Enigma Variations that sing over the entire piece, making us realize that this is not just another British puffy oratorio (of which there are thankfully many!), but a stylish and moving composition.

The recording is fleshed out with the hauntingly beautiful 'Sospiri, adagio for strings, harp & organ' and the early 'Sursum Corda', termed an elévation for brass, organ, strings & 2 timpani. In all this is a generous example of why Elgar is viable in history as a 20th century composer, and this recording of 'The Kingdom' makes a fine case for encouraging more performances by choral ensembles looking for the 'different' big works. Recommended. Grady Harp, April 06"
Awesome recording
Jeffrey B. Fowler | Paoli, PA United States | 09/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Both from a sonic and a performance standpoint, this is definitely the best recording available of this neglected and underperformed work. Hickox' moving interpretation is well executed throughout. More than a faithful following of Elgar's many musical directives, the performance is alive, fresh, and moving."
Entering The Kingdom of Elgar
kevin | Derbyshire, UK | 05/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sublime. I was moved to tears. Power, spirituality, poetry, emotion. You must experience this for yourself. Your life will not be the same again."